Brad Stevens wishes Kyrie Irving ‘nothing but health and success’
It came as no surprise when Kyrie Irving elected to leave the Boston Celtics and sign elsewhere in free agency. With Irving’s reported four-year, $141 million with the Brooklyn Nets — where the New Jersey native will join pal Kevin Durant — now official, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens weighed in on the superstar’s departure while addressing the media Tuesday night at the Summer League.
“I don’t know if there’s anything anyone individually necessarily feels like they should have done or could have done [to keep Irving],” Stevens said when asked if the Celtics could have explored other avenues to convince Irving to stay, via NBC Sports Boston. “That’s part of free agency. You can go wherever you want.”
To say Irving’s two-season tenure in Boston was a tumultuous one would be an understatement, especially during a dysfunctional 2018-19 campaign — spurned in large part by Irving’s mercurial ways — that ultimately ended in postseason disappointment.
While things ended on a sour note, Stevens insisted there are no hard feelings over Irving, at least on his behalf.
“I enjoyed Kyrie; I like Kyrie,” Stevens said. “I wish him nothing but health and success.”
While it may have made Celtics fans happy — and perhaps even some within the organization — if Stevens had taken some parting shots at Irving, it would have had little benefit other than perhaps making the team appear somewhat petty.
After two tumultuous seasons, the partnership between the Celtics and Irving clearly had run its course and it was time to move on. The enigmatic point guard’s departure is arguably beneficial for both Irving and Celtics, and as the saying goes, some things are best left unsaid.