USA Today Sports

Kyrie Irving believes Celtics can beat Warriors in NBA Finals

John Tomase
September 21, 2018 - 11:23 pm

In a lengthy interview with ESPN, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said he's fully healed from offseason knee surgery, which perhaps explains why he's so bullish on the team's future this season.

"Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series?" he asked. "Yes."

That was just one of the takeaways from a piece that also included Irving's most encouraging remarks to date about his longterm future in Boston.

"Who wouldn't be a part of this?" Irving told ESPN, gesturing to Boston's new practice facility. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, 'Why won't he commit to Boston?' Well, there are financial implications involved."

The financial implications prevented Irving from signing an extension this summer, which would've cost him as much as $80 million.

"I'm accepting it's going to be a constant story," Irving told ESPN "It's a point in my professional career where it is a big-time decision. I've been away from Cleveland officially for a year now, and I'm finally getting acclimated in Boston.

"Last year it was almost like a trial. There was a lot going on. It was overwhelming at times, to be honest. The focus needed to be directed on getting better and helping my new team win a championship, instead of focusing on all the outside noise (about leaving Cleveland) that affected me personally."