Kyrie on hugging ex-C's teammates: 'Big surprise, huh?'


Kyrie Irving provided fireworks both during and after Thursday night's Boston Celtics-Brooklyn Nets showdown.

The ex-Celtics star torched his former team for 40 points, helping the Nets to a 121-109 victory. Afterward, he showed that it's still all love between him and the guys he used to call teammates.

C's-Nets takeaways: A rusty Jaylen, a spry Smart

Irving was asked during his postgame press conference about hugging his ex-teammates, and he had quite the answer.

"Big surprise, huh? To a lot of people? All that s--- talking about me and all the relationships I have with every teammate of mine," Irving responded.

Well, then. Tell us how you really feel, Kyrie.

Irving also addressed whether his big night feels extra special coming against the Celtics.

"I think I let kind of the casual NBA fans talk about it, what it could mean in terms of a special night. I'm just waiting for the main stage, going on and playing in front of millions of people and it actually mattering in terms of win or lose.

"I'm looking forward to that, but games like this in the middle of the season where you go against guys that you've known well, it's always a blessing. I'm always happy for those guys and I want to see them do well. When we're playing against each other, we're just going to leave it out on the floor. That's just where it stands. We have that respect, but of course our relationships go way further off the floor."

Say what you will about Irving, but it certainly seems there's no bad blood between him and the Celtics. Of course, that's unlikely to matter to C's fans when Irving eventually plays in front of a TD Garden crowd, something he hasn't done since leaving Boston in 2019.