Danny Ainge: Celtics fans booing Kyrie Irving would be ‘sad commentary’
Boston Celtics fans will boo Kyrie Irving the first time the Brooklyn Nets star makes a return to TD Garden. That’s a certainty.
With the Nets set to pay a visit to Boston next Wednesday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge argued this week that it would be a bad look if the team’s fans gave Irving such a rude welcome.
“I think that’s a sad commentary,” Ainge said Thursday during an appearance on “Toucher & Rich,” via 98.5 The Sports Hub. “But I understand it, because I know there’s been a lot of negative attention. I understand all that. I just think that’s a bad conclusion to come to. I think that’s not really fair.”
Ainge went on to argue that Irving doesn’t deserve all the blame for how poorly things went for the Celtics last season.
“It was a very good situation with Kyrie,” Ainge said. “Kyrie was in a good place and things were looking good for a year and a half, and it went sour. And you’ve heard me say this, but he’s blamed for a lot of the sour last year and I think it’s much, much bigger than that.
“I don’t have any grudges against Kyrie. I’m grateful that he gave us a chance, and it didn’t work out. It wasn’t his fault it didn’t work out, it was a lot of people’s fault, including my own.”
Ainge repeatedly attempted to play nice with Irving, both during his tumultuous two-season tenure and when the point guard was contemplating his future this past offseason.
Irving’s departure, however, arguably was the best outcome for both parties, although a change of scenery for the superstar evidently hasn’t changed his mercurial ways too much in Brooklyn.
It merits noting that Celtics fans may not even get the opportunity to boo Irving next Wednesday, as there reportedly has been no timetable set for his return from a shoulder injury which has already cost him three games.
If that’s the case, Celtics fans will have to wait until March 3 to give Irving the chilly reception they believe he deserves.