Could Boston Celtics point guard, Kyrie Irving conceivably join the New York Knicks?
Irving will be an NBA free agent this summer and according to Bookmaker.eu, the current odds of Irving re-signing with the Boston Celtics is listed as: Boston Celtics +100 (1/1)).
Irving’s ties to Boston ran deep even before he arrived in The Bean.
His father played basketball at Boston University.
It’s been rumored that the eldest Irving had a tryout with the Celtics before opting to play overseas basketball.
Additionally, Irving has mentored Harvard guard, Bryce Aiken since high school.
“I encourage him to watch other players so he can get better,” Irving told me of Aiken.
“He has this old-school feel. He’s fundamentally sound.”
As for Irving, you have to trust him at his word. Some have suggested he and Kevin Durant could ultimately be teammates.
When asked in October if he will re-sign with the Celtics, he replied: “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”
A few months ago, he was asked the same question and he stated, “Ask me July 1.”
“Obviously, Boston’s still at the head of that race,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for me and my career. I don’t owe anybody (expletive).”
The Celtics are in the lead to re-sign Irving but the New York Knicks are in second with betting odds of: +200 (2/1).
Irving’s dad, Drederick is a native New Yorker from the borough of the Bronx; as is Irving’s godfather, Rod Strickland, a former Knick.
Strickland had seen Irving dribble the ball from time to time in the backyard and used to tell Drederick Irving, “He’s going to make you some money.”
The first time Strickland saw Irving play in an actual game was when he was in high school when ironically he played in LeBron James’ camp, where Irving put on an absolute show.
“My first eyes on Kyrie as a hooper, I saw him play in Springfield, Massachusetts,” Strickland told me last summer on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I mean in a competitive setting, he was at St. Pats, and then I saw him at the LeBron James camp. And once I saw him at the LeBron James camp, I mean he was ridiculous. I saw the right hand, the left hand, all the layups and how he maneuvered.
“He made passes, but he was such a gifted scorer and ball-handler that he could put the ball in the hole. But I knew he was special right away. There are some things that everybody’s not doing, so when I see somebody play with both hands, the way he was playing with it in high school, that’s special. You don’t see that a lot.”
The New Orleans Pelicans are listed with odds of +1300 (13/1) and the Brooklyn Nets are listed at +500 (5/1)
A native of West Orange, NJ, a stones throw from the skyline of New York City, Irving did grow up liking the then-New Jersey Nets when they ran the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the days of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.
He was a fan of Kidd.
“Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game,” Kyrie Irving told me after Kidd was hired as the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach in 2013.
“Watching him play was a pleasure.”
That Nets team that made back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 was coached by Byron Scott who lived in Livingston, NJ; a neighboring town to West Orange, during his Nets coaching tenure.
Scott would later coach Irving earlier in his career with the Cavaliers.
Million Dollar Question: Is there a snowball’s chance in heaven that Irving would join the Brooklyn Nets?
“I don’t see what the appeal is for him to go to Brooklyn, which has lesser talent.” Ric Bucher told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I mean, I think they’re maximizing what they have, it’s impressive that they’re doing what they’re doing. But I see far more big picture potential with Boston. The other thing that people seem to overlook is that guys, by and large, don’t want to go home. Because when you go home, everybody expects you from kindergarten on that you’re going to take care of them and you’re going to get them tickets and you’re going to show up for their events. And like, when it’s a plane ride away, it’s a lot easier to keep everybody at bay and not complicate your life, or even if you’re willing to do all that, now you’ve just put a whole other thing on your plate. So I know as many guys who have said, ‘yeah, I don’t, I love where I’m from and I love going home in the summer, but being there year-round, playing there? Man, that’s a weight that I do not want to carry.”