Celtics

Kyrie Irving downplays 'vet' talk

Celtics

BOSTON — Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving raised some eyebrows at the tail end of the team’s underwhelming road trip when he suggested it would be ’nice’ if the Celtics had a 14- or 15-year veteran on the roster.

Some wondered if Irving was making a cryptic pitch for a potential roster addition — maybe someone like possible free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony, now in his 16th NBA season. But asked about his comments after Wednesday’s lopsided win over the Bulls, Irving said he was merely talking in generalities.

"I think I was speaking just in general because obviously there’s a lot of movement going on around the league as usual this time,” said Irving. "I wasn’t speaking about anyone specific. I just was speaking to like a vet that’s been through a championship run, through championship runs, that’s able to be patient with this team as well as understand what we’re going through of just figuring out the pieces and how they mesh well together.”

Irving has routinely preached patience during Boston’s uneven start that included a dismal 1-4 showing during a road trip that concluded Sunday with the team falling short despite rallying back from as much as 21 points down. 

A breezy win over the Bulls, back on Boston’s home turf, helped take some pressure off the team.

"It’s always great to be playing in front of the home fans, especially in TD,” said Irving. "I’ve had a great opportunity to be an opponent as well as being a hometown [guy], playing for the home team. So I think that you can definitely tell the difference of just being home, everyone just being with their families and kind of setting the tone for what we want to accomplish this week.”

 

Watching a shorthanded bench, playing without Marcus Morris, extend the lead made for a night of light lifting for Irving, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with seven assists over less than 28 minutes.

“It’s a player’s dream to be done with 10 minutes left to go on the clock in the fourth quarter, honestly,” said Irving. "But it all started with our effort in those first three quarters and then we extended the lead in the first few minutes of the fourth, so I’m proud of the guys.”

It was exactly the sort of feel-good win that reminds a player that he doesn’t necessarily need another vet to help preach patience. 

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