The general consensus right now is that Kyrie Irving has played his last game for the Boston Celtics. Especially with how things ended in Game 5 on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, this does seem to be where things are headed right now.
It was clear in Irving’s face that he was extremely disappointed following the season-ending loss, and it was as if he exuded an aura that somehow expressed a desire to get the heck out of there as quickly as humanly possible.
Then came the finger-pointing. Irving is unquestionably the biggest scapegoat for the Celtics and their disappointing season, and there are more than a few who believe that he actually is and has been the problem in Boston.
Given all this, the only logical conclusion to this drawn out narrative seems to be a divorce between the two parties. However, let’s not forget that up and until Irving officially signs for a new team, anything can still happen. Although unlikely at this point, there are still some relatively compelling reasons why Kyrie might just decide to sign an extension with the Celtics in the summer. Here are three.
Going Against the Norm
Kyrie Irving is not your typical basketball player. As a matter of fact, he’s not exactly like most of the people on this planet. The mere fact that he publicized his controversial flat earth theory — be it as a joke or otherwise — is testament to this fact. Simply put, Kyrie is just not one to go with the norm.
This being the case, Irving might just surprise us all by opting to extend his tenure in Boston. While many believe that his time with the organization may have come to a close, the former Rookie of the Year might just think otherwise.
A couple of years ago, Irving shocked the basketball world by forcing his move away from the Cleveland Cavaliers following arguably the best season of his career with the team. Until his declaration, many believed that the Cavs were a well-oiled machine that were set on avenging their recent NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors in the previous season.
Irving has shocked us before, and it would not be the first time if he did it again this summer.
Redemption is a Dish Best Served Cold
Speaking of avenging, this might just be the most compelling reason for Irving to re-sign with the Celtics in the offseason. As mentioned previously, Irving has been taking a lot of stick for how the season played out for Boston. To some extent, maybe it’s unfair that we’re putting this all on him. Kyrie Irving may have been a disappointment for most parts of the season — both on and off the court — but surely, there are a lot of other factors that must have caused the downfall of the Celtics.
What better way to redeem himself than to bring Boston back to the promised land? This was, after all, the original plan when Irving signed with the Celtics two years ago, so perhaps, there is still time for him to fulfill this prophecy.
There is no question that the C’s require some (or maybe a lot?) tweaking in its roster, but let’s not forget that this is essentially still a team packed with three former All-Stars in Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, as well as a young core of some of the most promising talents in the league. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be entering only their third and fourth seasons, respectively, and they should only get better.
On paper, the Celtics still have one of the best rosters in the NBA, and with a revitalized Irving at the helm next season, they might just be able to finally live up to the expectations.
The Alpha Dog
At this point in his career, Irving does not seem prepared to play second fiddle. This is exactly why he left Cleveland to get out of the shadow of LeBron James. He wanted to be the alpha dog on his own team, which is something the Celtics were and still are able to offer to him. Boston are still going to be willing to keep Irving as their talisman, and this might just be something some other teams might not be able to offer.
It’s going to be a very interesting next couple of months for Kyrie Irving and the Celtics and we will be sure to keep track of all the developments, so stay tuned here.