National media grossly misquotes Kyrie Irving about re-signing with Celtics

Alex Reimer
June 13, 2018 - 11:55 am

The one thing Kyrie Irving has been clear about in regards to his future with the Celtics is why he doesn’t want to sign an extension this summer. Ironically, that’s the one line from Irving’s session with reporters Tuesday that national media outlets are taking wildly out of context. 

Irving, who’s inscrutable when addressing his desire to remain in Boston, was asked Tuesday whether he would consider signing an extension this summer –– one year before he’s slated to hit the open market. "No," he said, per WEEI’s John Tomase. "Contractually and financially, it just wouldn't make any sense.”

Since the Celtics are over the cap, Irving can only sign for 120 percent of what he's making now, which is a shade over $20 million. That means his final deal would break down to four years and $108 million. It pales in comparison to the five-year deal worth $190 million he could ink next year. 

Irving explicitly referenced those factors in his answer. There were no ramblings about “being present” or any dizzying psychological analysis. Irving was asked a specific question, and he gave a specific answer. He doesn’t think it would make sense to re-sign this year.

That’s not how Yahoo Sports is portraying Irving’s response, however. On Twitter, Yahoo’s NBA account teased its article on Irving with the following headline: “Kyrie Irving: Signing max deal with Celtics ‘doesn't make any sense.’”

Of course, that is a gross misrepresentation of what Irving said. The article’s actual headline puts the quote in context, adding in that Irving was referring to this summer. The author of the piece, Jay Owens, also acknowledges it “really doesn’t make sense” for Irving to sign a long-term deal right now.

Damn, that is much less exciting. Good thing the reader already clicked! 

I am not delivering a pious creed against clickbait, by the way. I am guilty of succumbing to it as well. But Yahoo is shameless about it. Their Twitter tease about Irving isn’t even remotely accurate.

ESPN’s “First Take” also mangled Irving’s words in a chyron Wednesday.

The misquote allowed Max Kellerman to rant and rave about how Danny Ainge must trade Irving this summer. “Who in (Irving’s) position wouldn’t say, ‘Yes, this is where I want to be!” Only someone who has serious thoughts of not being there, or else you would say, ‘I want to be here,’” Kellerman said. “For that reason, Danny Ainge should be looking to move him. Not for a bunch of little parts, for something like him –– whether that’s Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard or some mega-star who’s available in a three-team trade. He needs to seriously consider something like that.”

Irving has long demonstrated his penchant for verbosity. It’s probably unwise to read too deeply into anything he says about his Celtics future at this point. 

But if you are, at least accurately portray the one clear comment he’s made on the subject. 

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