Sitdown with Celtics star Kyrie Irving, on early Boston commitment, leaning on familiar voice from past decisions: Most importantly, its being connected to an incredible, incredible culture that has existed way before me and will exist after me. I wanted to be part of that. pic.twitter.com/1apczOG20w
“Most importantly, its being connected to an incredible, incredible culture that has existed way before me and will exist after me. I wanted to be part of that,” Irving said.
Irving will be 27 years old this season and although hes a former NBA champion, he has yet to win a title as “the guy.” Its the very reason he demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, so he could lead a franchise to an NBA title. In Boston, he has the deepest roster in the league that features established stars such as Al Horford and Gordon Hayward and a young supporting cast that features the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.
“I was at that point where I just didnt know what to do, where to go,” Irving said. “But I knew I needed a change and move forward and you gotta take that leap by yourself at times and deal with the criticism that comes along with it. I knew there was a part of my career that I envisioned myself being in. And I knew that challenge was not gonna come being where I was.”
“I think you have to set yourself up in a reality that you want,” he said. “You have to realize certain habits that you kinda learn being in different environments it probably wont get me any further than where I want to be. Theres a lot of unlearning to be done still in my life. But the realization that I have a long way to go and a lot to learn in my career is something that Im so excited about. Because that only involves learning from the greats that came before me. Taking the time to be patient with myself and understanding that I can help others by helping myself.”
Although the Golden State Warriors remain the cream of the crop in the NBA for now, the Celtics are obviously lined up to be the team to beat in the NBA over the next half-decade. Irvings decision to re-sign with the Celtics will ensure that their closer will be around for when they do become the team to beat in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving recorded a season-high 39 points and also had seven rebounds and six assists to help the Boston Celtics rally to a 116-109 overtime victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
Marcus Morris added 17 points and drained the tying 3-point basket in regulation as Boston recovered from a 22-point third-quarter deficit. Jaylen Brown connected on the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime to cap a 17-point effort and Terry Rozier added 10 points.
Devin Booker scored a season-high 38 points and added nine assists and TJ Warren scored a season-high 29 points for Phoenix, which has dropped nine of its 11 games this season. Deandre Ayton contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Celtics recovered from a poor-shooting first half to finish at 40.2 percent, including 14-of-37 from 3-point range. The Suns shot 44.1 percent and were 11-of-35 from 3-point range.
Boston trailed by 19 points after the opening quarter and by 25 after the third period but rallied with a 20-6 run at the end of regulation to force overtime.
Brown's 3-pointer gave Boston a 112-109 lead with 2:05 left in overtime and Morris added a layup 26 seconds later. Jayson Tatum added two free throws with nine seconds left to close it out.
The Celtics trailed by 14 with 3:45 remaining in regulation before Irving (five) and Brown (four) scored all the points during a 9-0 surge to cut the Suns' lead to 94-89 with 2:05 remaining.
Boston kept on the pressure and moved within 98-95 on Irving's 3-pointer with 35.9 seconds left and Brown's basket with 7.3 seconds left moved the Celtics within one. Warren connected on two free throws with 6.1 seconds remaining to give Phoenix a 100-97 edge.
Morris drained a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to knot the score. It was Boston's six trey of the quarter.
The Celtics shot a meager 21.7 percent from the field in the half – 10-for-46 — and committed 10 turnovers.
Irving was the only Boston starter to score in the first half and he was just 3-of-10 shooting while scoring 13 points. The other four starters — Brown, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Tatum — missed all 15 of their shots.
Booker's 17-footer with 0.5 seconds left gave the Suns a 32-13 edge in a stanza in which the Celtics went 4-of-22 from the field.