Celtics

Kyrie Irving says he plans on re-signing with Celtics

Kyrie Irving says he plans on re-signing with Celtics

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving unexpectedly announced he plans to re-sign with the team during a question-and-answer session in front of season-ticket holders on Thursday night at TD Garden.

After being asked about the possibility of having his No. 11 jersey retired one day, Irving dramatically stood up and, addressing the fans, said he plan on re-signing with Boston.

“I shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization and everyone else in Boston: If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year,” Irving said to applause. 

Smiling wide at the reaction of the crowd, he added, “I appreciate it."

Irving, who was noncommittal about his future at the start of the summer, has gone out of his way to express his fondness for Boston in recent weeks. That culminated with Thursday’s declaration, which came at the end of a Q&A he did alongside teammates Al Horford and Gordon Hayward.

Irving had begun telling teammates and front office personnel about his decision to re-sign with Boston in recent days but no one in the organization knew for sure if — or when — he’d make a public declaration.

Paul Pierce, sitting courtside for the event, clapped along with fans as Irving made the announcement.

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"I think that’s huge. I think [Irving] has an understanding after being here a year, it’s all about legacy. To have a legacy here in Boston, it could be like none other in the NBA.

"I think he has a clear understanding of that. He’s a smart player, he’s a smart guy. He understands that championship window. Also, it doesn’t last that long. He had his run in Cleveland and he sees the future here in Boston that can really be something special. I think he notices that."

Irving's announcement, after a series of low-key skills challenges, was surprising only because of its timing. Irving had joked this summer about hoping reporters would limit their inquiries about his future to one question per day.

Irving will be in line to ink a five-year, $189 million extension after he opts out of the final year of his current deal next summer. Irving said in June he had no interest in an extension this summer, particularly one that would pay him roughly $85 million less than what he can earn by signing a max deal with Boston.

Many have wondered if Irving could be lured by a team with max cap space and most speculation centered on the New York Knicks, given Irving’s New Jersey roots. But Irving had gone out of his way in recent weeks to express his appreciation for Boston.

Still, his announcement sent shockwaves around the NBA. Though Pierce said he wasn’t surprised.

"It’s not surprising to me because, when you look at his situation, this is like a great situation for him,” said Pierce. "It’s not that he’s on a team that’s getting older, he’s on a team that’s pretty much at the start of their prime right now, with him being at the forefront, and something that could go on for a long long time. Even as he gets older, he has younger guys that can really pick him up if he starts to decline when he gets into his 30s and getting older. I mean this is a perfect situation for him."

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Irving’s return bolsters Boston’s position as an NBA power for years to come with a core of Irving, Horford and Hayward, in addition to up-and-comers Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier.

It also checks off one of Boston’s most important tasks next summer. With Irving likely to be a mere formality to sign, the Celtics can put their attention on others — whether that’s Horford opting out of his final year and exploring a lower-money extension, or the possible restricted free agency of Rozier.

The 26-year-old Irving, a five-time All-Star, averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists over 32.2 minutes per game during his first season in Boston. He appeared in 60 games last year before a balky left knee ended his season in March.

Irving has expressed hope that, with both him and Hayward returning this season, the Celtics could take another step towards competing for a title.
 

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

BOSTON -- For most of Brad Stevens’ time as Boston Celtics coach, he tends to get more out of his teams than most expect. 

So, it was only fitting that on the night he came up with a historic win No. 300 with the Celtics, it would come in a game where his team was at far from full strength. 

No Jaylen Brown (ankle). 

No Jayson Tatum (groin).

No Enes Kanter (hip bruise).

No problem for the Celtics, who rallied from a 16-point deficit before pulling away for a 109-98 win.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

And with the victory, Brad Stevens became just the fifth coach in Celtics history reach the 300-win milestone, a group that includes Red Auerbach (795 wins), Tommy Heinsohn (427), Doc Rivers (416), K.C. Jones (308) and now, Stevens. 

It is an impressive mark when you consider the company he now finds himself in, a fitting accomplishment that speaks to how Stevens has immersed himself into being an NBA head coach after arriving from the college ranks. 

In Stevens’ first couple of seasons in the NBA, when the Celtics weren’t nearly as successful as the Stevens-coached teams at Butler, there were steadily rumblings that Stevens would get tired of the NBA coaching lifestyle and losing, and eventually return to college coaching. 

Despite such speculation, Stevens has consistently maintained that he wants to be in the NBA coaching this team. 

Stevens downplayed the milestone and deflected credit when asked about the milestone after the game:

And games like the comeback win over Orlando on Friday night remind us that Stevens is not only all-in on this Celtics team, but he’s all-in on being one of the winningest coaches in franchise history. He got it done with an undermanned, injury-riddled bunch and it was similar to a number of wins he has amassed that have led him to where he is now. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws on Friday

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws on Friday

Tacko Fall was recalled by the Boston Celtics on Friday, leaving Tremont Waters and Romeo Langford as the center of attention for the Maine Red Claws vs. the Long Island Nets.

It came down to the wire, but the Red Claws were able to squeak out a 118-114 win.

Here are some of Waters and Langford's highlights from the game, along with their stats:

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

TREMONT WATERS

Waters nearly messed around and got a triple-double as he notched 23 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds on the night. He continues to dominate the NBA G League and make a solid case to become a regular with the Celtics sooner rather than later.


ROMEO LANGFORD

Langford finished with 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting. The Celtics' No. 14 overall draft pick also tallied four rebounds and three assists.

Other standout performers included Trey Davis (29 points, seven rebounds) and Yante Maten (17 points, eight rebounds).

The Red Claws return to action Saturday at 5 p.m. ET vs. the Westchester Knicks.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.