Tomase: Kyrie said WHAT? Biggest Boston bombshell of week a game-changer for C's

John Tomase
October 05, 2018 - 11:47 am
Kyrie Irving

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

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Kyrie Irving's timing on a basketball court -- the feints, dekes, and dives that create space out of claustrophobia -- is unparalleled.

His timing in regards to franchise-altering announcements could use a little work.

In the run-up to Thursday's Patriots game and the lead-up to Friday's Red Sox-Yankees playoff opener, Irving very casually dropped a bomb on Thursday night.

Speaking to season ticket holders at the TD Garden, Irving said he plans on re-signing with Boston when he hits free agency this summer.

"I've shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization as well as everyone else in Boston," Irving told the crowd. "If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year."

Celtics fans responded with shocked, thunderous applause. In one sentence, Irving removed the issue perilously dangling over the franchise like a scythe.

Beyond injuries, the only way the Celtics fail to remain title contenders for the next three-to-five years is if Irving bolts next summer. With rumors tying him to the Knicks, Nets, and Jimmy Butler, C's fans had every right to worry about the future beyond 2018-19. Everything Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have built wouldn't come crashing down, but the window wouldn't feel maximized, either.

If we're to take Irving at his word -- and why be so explicit if he didn't mean it? -- that worry no longer exists.

We can now settle in for what has all the makings of a prolonged championship run. Irving's not going anywhere. Gordon Hayward's not going anywhere. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart aren't going anywhere. Two years remain on Al Horford's deal, and even Terry Rozier will be here at least one more year.

Irving is the linchpin, though. His CV includes not just a championship, but the game-winning shot to deliver a title. He taught the young Celtics to believe in themselves last year even after Hayward's gruesome leg injury seemingly derailed the season before it started. He looked like a proud papa when the C's raced to Game 7 of the conference finals without him.

He's also a face of the NBA and a bankable superstar beyond the court, as he proved with his Uncle Drew movie this summer. The allure of a big-time media market supposedly put his hometown Knicks in play, but Irving's not stupid. He may have only spent one year at Duke, but he learned enough to know a good thing when he sees it, and Boston offers the most compelling combination of riches and title aspirations. In every sense of the phrase, he sees Green.

The Celtics are now officially Kyrie Irving's team and will be for as long as he's here. He's the face of whatever they do for the next five years, potentially joining a litany of Celtics greats to headline a title winner.

Just as the 1960s gave us the Russell Celtics, and the '70s the Havlicek Celtics, and the '80s the Bird Celtics and the 2000s the Pierce Celtics, there's no doubt these are the Kyrie Celtics.

With all due respect to the Patriots whupping the Colts or whatever happens at Fenway Park on Friday, Irving's bombshell represents the biggest Boston sports news of the week, and not by just a little.

Kyrie is staying put. The chances of the next Celtics dynasty emerging sooner than later just increased exponentially.

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