Kyrie Irving, Focusing On ‘Redemption,’ Says Signing Extension With Celtics ‘Doesn’t Make Any Sense’
The All-Star point guard told reporters on Tuesday — his first interaction with the press since March — that extending with the Celtics “doesn’t make any sense,” at least not from a financial standpoint. Irving sat out the playoffs after injuring his knee just days before the regular season ended. He received surgery for the injury.
“Contractually, financially, [an extension] just doesn’t make any sense,” Irving said.
Irving joked about his frustration with the media grilling him with questions about his plans for next year, and said he wants to focus on his health and “redemption.” He added he would likely make a decision about his future with the Celtics next summer.
According to ESPN, Irving is eligible for a four-year, $107 million extension, although he could rake in significantly more money if he waits until the summer of 2019 to decide whether or not he stays in Boston.
“My hope is that maybe we could limit it to maybe one question a day about what I’m doing next year,” Irving said Tuesday. “That’s my hope. But obviously I can’t really control that.”
He continued: “I think you guys can feel my attitude is really just redemption next year. Really integrating myself with our team again and really focus on winning a championship. That’s the only thing I’m really worried about. Until I get to that point, then I can’t really answer any questions. I’m pretty sure management and I will have a talk, but that talk won’t happen now.”
The Celtics also lost All-Star Gordon Hayward — acquired last year in a trade with the Utah Jazz — to injury just minutes into Boston’s regular-season opening game, another major blow to the team.
This year, the Celtics finished 55-27 to become the second seed in the Eastern Conference behind only the Toronto Raptors. Boston reached the Eastern Conference Finals before losing the series 4-3 to the Cleveland Cavaliers after a loss on May 27.
Irving was also asked this week if he would someday like to reunite with LeBron James, his former Cavaliers teammate.
“In this business, I’ve experienced it all and I’ve seen a lot, so we’ll see what management decides,” said Irving.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith seemed outraged that Irving did not earn as much money as other top NBA players like Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Houston’s Chris Paul.