It was worth a shot, but in the end, the Kyrie Irving experiment in Boston was a failure.
And it’s safe to say that the experiment is over. At least, it should be over.
Nothing has been finalized, of course. NBA free agency doesn’t officially begin until July 1. But that hasn’t halted speculation as to where Irving will play next season.
Irving is expected to opt out of the final year of his current contract and become an unrestricted free agent, where he could then sign the largest deal possible with the Celtics, or pack up and move on to one of his several rumored destinations, which include New York and Los Angeles.
The most popular rumor is the one that has him going to the Knicks, along with Kevin Durant, who is also expected to opt out of the final year of his deal with the Golden State Warriors this summer. New York could use both of them, especially after getting screwed at Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery and receiving the No. 3 overall pick, even though the Knicks had the worst record in the league this year.
Another rumor that continues to pick up steam is Irving going to the Lakers, which was once again reported earlier this week, this time by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, saying that the possibility of Irving reuniting with LeBron James in LA is “opening more by the day.”
This comes after Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported in January that a source told him Irving was “genuinely interested” in reuniting with James with the Lakers. It also comes after I told you many times that nobody should be surprised if Irving runs off to LA, mainly because I actually don’t believe that Irving and James ever really hated each other, and because Irving is obviously interested in Hollywood, as seen with his starring role in the 2018 movie “Uncle Drew.”
Irving also seemingly loves drama. It’s all he really brought to the table this season. Coming off a knee injury that ended his first season as a Celtic early, Irving constantly said things that made you scratch your head.
First he said the team needs to add a veteran leader. Then he randomly told us how he called LeBron to apologize, while calling out his younger teammates in the process. He followed that up by saying he “doesn’t owe anybody [expletive].” And then, in maybe his final media session as a member of the Celtics, he refused to show any humility whatsoever in his Game 5 postgame interview after Boston’s season came to an end in the second round.
“Truth be told, it’s no time to be disappointed,” said Irving, just moments after an incredibly disappointing finish to such a promising season.
This came after Irving scored 15 points on 6-for-21 shooting from the field and 1-for-7 shooting from three-point range in a must-win playoff game on the road. In fact, Irving was horrible in each of the four straight losses to the Bucks.
In those four losses, Irving shot 25-for-83 (30 percent) from the field and 5-for-27 (19 percent) from three-point range. Ouch.
So much for “Playoff Kyrie.”
It was Irving’s potential to go off in the playoffs that prevented me from running him out of town after all the stupid things he was saying for most of the season. No matter how frustrating it was to listen to him, I kept coming back to, “It’s OK, his playoff dominance will make us forget about all of this.”
Well, Irving provided no playoff dominance for the Celtics. And if he isn’t going to get it done in the playoffs, what’s the point?
It was worth a shot, but in the end, it just didn’t work out.
Time for both the Celtics and Irving to move on.
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