Celtics

Jeff Goodman: 'I’d be surprised if (Kyrie) stays in Boston'

Jeff Goodman: 'I’d be surprised if (Kyrie) stays in Boston'

The biggest question that the Boston Celtics face this offseason revolves around the status of Kyrie Irving. The team's star point guard is set to hit free agency and after a year in which the Celtics underachieved, many are wondering if he will return to the team. But for now, it seems possible -- if not, probable -- that Irving could end up elsewhere this summer.

And you can count former ESPN and current Stadium basketball analyst Jeff Goodman among those who believe he won't return to Boston. Goodman recently appeared on Colin Cowherd's podcast offered his thoughts on Kyrie's impending free agency.

I’d be surprised if he stays in Boston. You see his body language. You hear enough smoke, you know there's something going on here. Obviously, Kyrie’s kinda moody, he’s got a tight inner circle. So, I’m not sure how much validity some of (the rumors have), but again, I don’t expect him to be in Boston. You could see it in the locker room and with his teammates, that they almost don’t know how to take to Kyrie Irving.

I’ve known him a long time, Colin, and, honestly, he’s become tough to like. He has. Obviously, he's an elite level talent. But we saw it in the playoffs. He kinda got swallowed up because he's not the most athletic dude in the world. And this group was far more entertaining to watch a year ago in the playoffs with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier. I’m not sure how many people in Boston, including Danny Ainge, would be that unhappy if Kyrie Irving leaves.

It's hard to believe that Ainge, a noted asset-collector, would be happy to see Irving leave, but the team would still have a lot of young talent and depth if he does depart.

Over the course of the past season, several teams have emerged as contenders for Irving. There have been rumors that he could team up with Kevin Durant and join the New York Knicks. He has also been tied to another New York-based team, the Brooklyn Nets, along with Anthony Davis.

And, of course, there have been rumblings that he could, once again, team up with LeBron James and join the Los Angeles Lakers.

Irving could end up surprising some and staying, especially if the Celtics can somehow land a superstar like Anthony Davis or Durant...or maybe even both. But for the time being, his future in Boston is tenuous at the best.

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2019 FIBA World Cup live stream: How to watch Team USA vs. Australia exhibition

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USA TODAY Sports photo

2019 FIBA World Cup live stream: How to watch Team USA vs. Australia exhibition

After drawing the largest crowd for a basketball game ever in Australia on Thursday (51,218), Team USA and Australia return to Marvel Stadium late tonight (2 p.m. Saturday in Melbourne) to play another tuneup for the FIBA World Cup.

A trio of Celtics - part of "Team Shamrock" for the US - all played key roles in helping the US defeat the Aussies 102-86. Kemba Walker scored a game-high 23 points, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 11. The fourth Celtic on Team USA, Marcus Smart, who hasn't played because of a calf injury, didn't play in that game but has been cleared to return and could be back tonight.

Team Australia includes a former Celtic, Aron Baynes.

The Americans have one more tuneup in Australia, Monday against Team Canada, before the FIBA World Cup opens in China against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1. 

Here's how to watch tonight's game:

When: Saturday, Aug. 24, midnight
TV Channel: NBA TV
Live Stream: Twitch and NBA.com

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Enes Kanter considering 'American name' when he becomes U.S. citizen

Enes Kanter considering 'American name' when he becomes U.S. citizen

Enes Kanter has big plans for the next couple of years that extend far beyond basketball.

The new Boston Celtics big man recently told TMZ Sports he plans on becoming a United States citizen two years from now. Kanter has been vocal about human rights issues in his home country of Turkey, to the point where Turkish prosecutors are seeking the arrest of the 27-year-old for his criticism of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter's citizenship may not be the only major change he makes in two years. He says he's also considering a switch to an "American name."

"I'm actually becoming a U.S. citizen in two years," Kanter told TMZ. "I'm actually thinking about adding an American name. I'm still thinking about it. I don't know yet."

Watch below:

But what names are under consideration? That's the next question that needs to be posed to the 6-foot-11 forward.

Kanter, who signed a two-year deal worth $10 million this offseason, will be counted on to play a sizable role for the Celtics. He and fellow newcomer Kemba Walker are expected to help replenish the team chemistry that was missing throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

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