Celtics

Kyrie Irving rumors: Celtics should 'still be worried' about Lakers signing star

Kyrie Irving rumors: Celtics should 'still be worried' about Lakers signing star

The Los Angeles Lakers remain a long shot in the Kyrie Irving free agency sweepstakes. But they're very much still an option, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Here's Windhorst speaking Monday night on "SportsCenter" about the chances of Irving leaving the Boston Celtics to reunite with ex-teammate LeBron James in Los Angeles:

"If you had asked me six months ago, I would have had said the door was closed and locked, that was not gonna happen. But over the last few months, there has no doubt been a thawing between Kyrie and LeBron and Kyrie has become to be more open to joining the Lakers and has done some research on the organization."

Earlier Monday, former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said Irving and Kawhi Leonard would be his top two free-agent priorities if he was still in L.A.'s front office.

Irving has plenty of other options, namely the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and his current team, the Celtics. The Lakers might rank behind those options for the N.J. native, but Windhorst believes they're still in the mix.

"With Magic leaving, that was a guy he felt a connection to," Windhorst added. "And with great opportunities in Brooklyn and in New York, plus Boston trying to keep him, I think the Lakers are lower on his list. But they’re on his list, and that gives them a fighting chance.

"Boston has got to still be worried about the Lakers in the Kyrie pursuit."

The Lakers need to get their own house in order; Johnson accused general manager Rob Pelinka of backstabbing on his way out, and the historic franchise faces mounting pressure to find a star to pair with James. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith also reported recently there's "no way in hell" Irving signs in L.A. this summer.

But the Celtics star has remained unpredictable, and it sounds like Tinseltown still has a seat at his free agency table.

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WATCH: Belichick's classic answer to halftime question about Josh Gordon

WATCH: Belichick's classic answer to halftime question about Josh Gordon

Bill Belichick has left us with yet another hilarious interview bit.

At halftime of the New England Patriots' preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, Belichick was asked if he had anything to add to the statement he had released about Josh Gordon's return to the team. Gordon, who was reinstated by the NFL on Friday, is now eligible to join the Patriots.

However, Belichick gave a very short answer and didn't elaborate much in this comical exchange captured by Boston 25 News' Chad Amaral.

Instant classic.

In fairness, Belichick does have a point. There was a statement released earlier in the day. But given how quickly Gordon's return was announced, it was also fair to see if the coach had anything extra to add. Belichick just happened to be focused on the game, so he didn't want to talk about Gordon's reinstatement.

Gordon's addition could end up being big for the Patriots' receiving corps, so maybe Belichick will show him more love once he actually gets back onto the field.

CURRAN: Patriots are smart to manage Josh Gordon's expectations>>>

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Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca 'almost crashed his car' when he heard of Kemba's interest

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File Photo

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca 'almost crashed his car' when he heard of Kemba's interest

This offseason, the Boston Celtics were in a state of flux. With the impending departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, it seemed that the team was entering a rebuilding phase in which they would have to build around their young talent.

Instead, the team was able to retool. That was largely thanks to Kemba Walker's interest in joining the team. Walker's interest surprised their co-owner, Steve Pagliuca, who shared how he reacted when he heard the news.

"I almost crashed my car when I heard that," Pagliuca said, per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe.

It's easy to understand why Pagliuca was so surprised. Walker, who had spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets, could've gotten a supermax to stay put with the Hornets. Instead, he wanted to join a winner and evidently was impressed with the Celtics.

Walker should be the perfect replacement for Kyrie Irving and should help to build better chemistry in a locker room that dealt with numerous issues last year. And Walker's addition plus the acquisition of rookies Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters has done a lot to transform the Celtics' personality, as Pagliuca noted.

"There’s just really a positive attitude from everybody this year," Pagliuca said, per Yang. "We’ve got a bunch of hard-working players that really want to achieve. We couldn’t ask for anything more."

After last season, that should be refreshing to Celtics fans, especially if they can stay competitive in what should be a wide-open Eastern Conference outside of the favored No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks.

BLAKELY: It's time to make Marcus Smart captain of the C's>>>

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