Blogtable: Has Irving played his last game with the Celtics?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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Do you think Kyrie Irving has played his last game with the Boston Celtics?
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Steve Aschburner: He is outta there. This is one of those rare occasions when a perennial All-Star might leave a team and the guy’s teammates — and their fans — might pack his bags and drive him to the airport. This is a bad fit in need of a breakup. That’s more on Irving than it is on the Celtics or the folks at TD Garden because he’s the one who wanted to drive his own team. And crafting a “team” is what at least some of the $20 million annually is supposed to buy. Irving’s ego might not like reading this, but he should not be the No. 1 guy for any franchise with legitimate championship aspirations.
John Schuhmann: Irving’s departure this summer certainly feels a lot more likely than it did six months ago. But Irving could tell us right now what he’s planning to do on July 1 and I probably wouldn’t believe him. It’s also valid to wonder if the Celtics want him back given the disappointment of this season, the lack of cohesion the team showed on both ends of the floor, and Irving’s handling of his “leadership” responsibilities. There’s baggage that comes with some of this year’s free agents, and there are obviously teams that will be desperate enough for the talent upgrade that they’ll be willing to take on that baggage.
Sekou Smith: I’m guessing, based on the way things ended, that he has indeed played his last game in a Celtics uniform. I’d hate to see the results of a Celtics fan poll asking if they want Kyrie back, because I don’t think it would be pretty. Boston’s youngsters, who looked ready to take on the world last season when Kyrie and Gordon Hayward were out with injuries during the playoffs, never showed up with the veteran stars healthy this time around. I don’t know if you can put it all on Kyrie and Hayward. But they’re the only significant difference from one season to the next. Kyrie’s never seemed like a great fit in Boston. As talented as he is, though, I’d find it hard to part ways with him like this if I’m Danny Ainge.