All eyes have been on Gordon Hayward since the start of the preseason. After likely one of the most followed recovery processes in NBA history, it only makes sense that the spotlight would shine brightly on him. But on Thursday, it was Kyrie Irving who made the headlines by announcing that he would be staying with the Boston Celtics for the foreseeable future during the #AMEX Tip-off event at TD Garden.
“I shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization and everyone else in Boston,” Irving announced to Celtics fans inside TD Garden. “If you guys will have me back, I plan I resigning next year.”
— ESPN (@espn) October 4, 2018
Irving was showered with a standing ovation and likely many sighs of relief following his proclamation. Up until Thursday, there has been much speculation as to whether Irving would stay in Boston after his contract ended in 2019. He felt like this was the perfect time to break the news, as it will no longer be a distraction for him and his teammates as they prepare for the regular season to kick off.
It was not made clear during his public announcement on Thursday how long he planned on staying in Boston or what kind of contract he would be signing next year. But during a media interview after the event, he emphasized that he wants to become one of the Celtics greats and create a legacy for himself in this organization.
“I do have a dream of putting my No. 11 in the rafters one day if I’m so blessed to do that,” he said. “A lot of great players have come before me, but to throw my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I’m glad I can do and plan on doing.”
Kyrie talks about his announcement … pic.twitter.com/7sAFQg4Zm7
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) October 5, 2018
The Celtics have an extremely young and talented core group of players that is led by veteran leadership in Hayward and Irving. Now that Irving is likely in Boston for the long run, you can expect this franchise to be highly competitive for years to come.