The timing of the declaration also came as a surprise to Danny Ainge, the teams president of basketball operations.
With LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles, fans have immediately put the Lakers among the league’s top teams. The franchise has assembled an interesting group of versatile and dynamic players, sparking beliefs that Magic Johnson, the team’s president of basketball operations, wanted to bring back the Showtime Lakers.
Kyrie just wanted to make that announcement then. I didnt know he was going to make it then and there, Ainge said Thursday during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher & Rich.
Lakers, Celtics getting most bets to win NBA Finals
I think its kind of neat that he did it where he did it, with all of the fans there on that night.
Irving had told Ainge, along with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, that he loved Boston and wanted to stay prior to his announcement last week. Though the timing of the announcement may have surprised Ainge, he knew it was coming eventually.
The fact that he wanted to announce that and just get it out there was not surprising to us, Ainge said. We felt like we were going to move forward with Kyrie for years to come. We had talked about it a little bit, but I guess that was just when he was ready to tell everybody he wanted to stay.
Despite the Celtics guards early announcement, all negotiations and contract talk will have to wait until July 1. Even though conversations have to be put on hold until next summer, Ainge is optimistic.
In this episode of The Celtics Talk Podcast with Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Chris Forsberg…
1:29 – Expectations for this team right out of the gate. Will the poor preseason performance affect the Celtics in the regular season?
4:45 – Who is the best team in the East besides the Celtics? The Raptors better with Kawhi over DeRozan? 76ers the next team in the East?
13:10 – Who challenges Golden State out West? Fascinating how the Celtics will handle the pressure and expectations.
17:17 – Kyrie Irving talks about the designing of his shoes, recaps his summer, and says he is “ready to kill” and is grateful to be with the Celtics organization.
20:26 – Al Horford discusses who has made the biggest leap from last season, how good the starting five can be, and being a mentor to Robert Williams.
24:07 – Gordon Hayward on the chemistry of the team, comparisons to the Golden State Warriors, and how his passion for the game refueled after his injury.
29:28 – Draper, Blakely, and Forsberg give their predictions for the Celtics win total for the 2018-2019 season.