MILWAUKEE — Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving didn’t offer any hints about his future after his team’s season ended on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
Irving, who endured one of the worst shooting stretches of his career in the final four games of a series that the Bucks took in five games, was asked what he’s looking for this summer.
"I’m going to be honest, I’m just trying to get back to Boston first, safely. See my family, decompress, do what human beings do,” he said.
Asked later if the uncertainty about his future weighed on him at all during the Bucks series, Irving twice said no before departing the podium.
Irving connected on just 25 of 83 shots (30.1 percent) in the final four games of the series, including just 5 of 27 (18.5 percent) of his 3-point attempts. Irving missed at least 14 shots in each of the final four games. He admitted the series will linger with him moving forward, though he downplayed his disappointment.
“Truth be told, it’s no time to be disappointed. You take your lessons, you take your ass-whipping that they handed us, and you move on,” said Irving. "It’s a basketball journey. Obviously, you want to keep playing but they put a halt to that. They deserved this series, they wanted it, and I’m looking forward to seeing them go to the Eastern Conference Finals and the next opponent.
"It was a great opponent for me to play against for the rest of my career because I know I won’t forget something like this, and the taste of defeat in this type of style, being down 1-4, I haven’t felt. For me, it’s just moving on to the next thing, and just seeing where that ends up.”
How did Milwaukee bottle him up?
"Well they kept a body on me practically the whole game, then they put us in some rotations, offensively and defensively, did a great job of running their offense with pace, making us think out there,” said Irving. "And I think that’s where one of the important lessons I’m going to take from this, is just how smart our team has to be in order to be at that next level. And they did it all year. They stayed consistent, they stayed steady, they stayed relatively healthy, and like I said, I give credit where credit is due, Giannis is an unbelievable player, he’s been doing unbelievable things this year, as well as Khris [Middleton], and they fill in really well. They’re a great, well-run team. So I’m glad we got to feel this in the eyes of looking at a great team like that.”
Irving can opt out of the final year of his contract this summer. He drew headlines earlier this year when he told reporters to ask him July 1 about his future, this after expressing a desire to re-sign in Boston before the start of the season.
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