The “We want Ky-rie” chants were alive and well at Madison Square Garden for Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, a steady reminder of who the New York Knicks’ brass has identified as one of their prime targets this summer via free agency.
And the chants did not go unnoticed by Irving, who doesn’t hold back in making it known how all the hoopla surrounding his impending free agency is not something he’s particularly fond of.
“It’s nothing but a distraction at this point,” Irving told reporters following Boston’s 113-99 win over the Knicks. “I’m appreciative of the fan support I get in any arena. Of course, coming back home (he grew up in West Orange, New Jersey) and what’s going on with that noise and commentary, it’s a bunch of nonsense right now.
Irving added, “Can’t do anything about it. So, I’m accepting, I’m appreciative but I have a game to focus on.”
☘️KYRIE SPEAKS OUT
Despite the steady dose of cheering -- which is unusual on the road, but as Irving alluded to, these are unusual times for the Knicks -- Irving still managed to deliver a strong night with 23 points and 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double this season, in addition to dishing out six assists.
And as far as the fans cheering him on, Irving said it wasn’t all that surprising to him.
“Being back home, what has been said - I will repeat myself again - what has been said, what has been circling around in terms of extra commentary, I kind of figured it would be something like that tonight,” he said. “I’m happy we got the win and I’m ready to go back to Boston.”
When New Orleans star Anthony Davis’ representatives publicly demanded a trade earlier this week, Irving - who is good friends with Davis - was among the players associated with potentially joining forces with Irving.
However, multiple reports indicate that Davis is not keen on playing in Boston.
Heck, even Davis’ father, Anthony Davis Sr., has chimed in to offer his thoughts on his son potentially playing for the Celtics.
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And when the Knicks pulled off a blockbuster trade with Dallas that freed up enough salary cap space for New York to sign a pair of max players this summer, once again Irving’s name was among the more talked about options the Knicks would pursue.
And Irving did not do anything to quell such talk when he addressed the media on Friday morning.
The trade speculation that has indirectly linked Irving with other potential players on the move, clearly irks the six-time All-Star.
“It’s outside noise again and my name is thrown into it and then, conversations, speculations, everybody is worried about their credibility,” Irving said. “I have a focus on winning a championship and that’s where my focus is going to stay.”
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