While Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics are focusing on the playoffs, rumor has it that Irving will meet with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
Well, fast forward through 81 games of the 2018-19 NBA season and it appears Mr. Irving has had a change of heart (which actually occurred after about 40 games). At least he wants the media to think so.
With rumblings that he wants to go back home and play for either the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets, Irving playing in green beyond the team’s playoff run is not as promised as the NBA’s best ball-handler breaking the ankles of a defender.
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In fact, the Jekyll and Hyde season the Boston Celtics are looking to redeem in the playoffs has nothing but endorsed his unhappiness in Boston and heightened the idea that he will ultimately join forces with Kevin Durant or even LeBron James once again.
Yes, the same LeBron James he wanted to get away from. Add the Los Angeles Lakers as another possible destination for Irving come the summer of 2019, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
"“I’m told Kyrie Irving will grant the Lakers an interview this offseason,” Smith said on his radio show, via NBC Sports Boston. “The Lakers will have an opportunity to get Kyrie Irving to come to LA. I didn’t say he’s coming to LA. I did not say that. I don’t know what he’s gonna do.”"
Smith went on to say that the Lakers will be one of a few trips he’ll make during his free agency tour and the mere fact he is even considering the purple and gold is big news considering LeBron James is there for three more seasons.
Irving wanted his star to shine
While the two have made up, one of the bigger stories in the professional sports world has been the question of whether Kyrie Irving can go and lead a team to an NBA title. He has the chance to do so with a very talented and deep Celtics team.
However, it has been challenging this season because of that same talent and depth. He has had a tough time getting through to players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, who have found and experienced playoff success without him.
Irving has also been faced with the patience of waiting for veteran All-Star’s like Gordon Hayward and Al Horford to get healthy and back to playing the type of basketball that made them the high-profile free agents the Boston Celtics coveted. On the brink of the playoffs, it finally seems everything is coming together for the C’s, including Kyrie Irvin’’s renewed attitude and energy.
That star won’t shine in LA
Is the possibility of Kyrie Irving even considering the Lakers more fuel to burn out the Celtics’ fire?
If so, it is another off-the-court obstacle the team will have to face. But, as far as Irving joining forces with LeBron James again? He absolutely cannot.
They won a title together in Cleveland, but Irving wanted to escape the shadows of the King. To go back would be like the United States changing its mind and tearing up the Declaration of Independence because it missed Britain. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but at the same time, yes that dramatic when it comes to the reality show known as the NBA.
In summary, Kyrie Irving can keep the greatest rivalry in sports alive by remaining with the Boston Celtics. In doing so, he will also keep the best player rivalry alive (as Stephen A. Smith called it). But, if it becomes all about a reunion with LeBron, Irving will be dead to Celtics fans and have NBA fans outside of Lakers Nation nodding in disappointment.
If he is willing to go back to what made him unhappy, then everything Irving has said over the last two seasons creates a lot of doubt about what kind of player he really wants to be.
Might as well believe the world is flat then believe Kyrie Irving if the ink of his signature dries on a Los Angeles Lakers contract this summer.