Wyc Grousbeck noncommittal about Kyrie Irving's future with Celtics

Wyc Grousbeck noncommittal about Kyrie Irving's future with Celtics

We've come a long way from, "If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here."

That was Kyrie Irving in October 2018, telling Celtics season-ticket holders he planned to sign a long-term contract in Boston this offseason.

Irving since has changed his tune, telling reporters in February to "ask me July 1" about what he'll do after opting out of the final year of his contract.

In a radio interview Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Felger & Mazz," Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck was asked if he still feels confident the C's can keep Kyrie around.

His answer didn't inspire much confidence.

"I'm not going to comment on ... I'm really not going to talk about specific guys except in real generalities," Grousbeck said. "Kyrie's given us two years of strong effort. He's going to decide what he's going to do down the road. He hasn't commented publicly, so I'm going to respect that."

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has tried to maintain optimism on the Irving front, insisting earlier this season the two sides still had a "marriage" set for the first day of free agency.

Grousbeck confirmed he's spoken to Irving since Boston's season ended last week, but offered nothing more.

"Sorry, not going to comment on that," Grousbeck said. "This is a process we'll go through longer than this week."

Surely the C's want the six-time All-Star to stay in Boston instead of signing elsewhere, though ... right? Grousbeck declined to concede even that sentiment.

"I'm just not going to comment about anybody on the roster on that," Grousbeck said. "We've got 15 guys, and we're going to evaluate all of them, and I'm not going to comment on one person and then not comment on another, because it's going to send a negative or positive signal. Just don't want to do it."

Grousbeck's stance is understandable: With free agency fast approaching, he'd rather not have any endorsement of Irving misconstrued as tampering. But his noncommittal responses about Irving's future will only fuel speculation that Kyrie has played his final game as a Celtic.

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Classic Celtics: Watch Larry Bird's heroics vs. Pacers in 1991 playoffs

Classic Celtics: Watch Larry Bird's heroics vs. Pacers in 1991 playoffs

Larry Bird was one of the most talented players in NBA history.

But he was also tough as nails.

Exhibit A: Game 5 of the Boston Celtics' first-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers on May, 5, 1991, which NBC Sports Boston will re-air Wednesday night as part of our "Classic Celtics" series.

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Bird suffered a nasty head injury late in the second half of the winner-take-all Game 5, and Celtics fans feared he was done for the game.

The 34-year-old C's legend triumphantly returned in the second half, though -- much to the delight of the raucous Boston Garden crowd -- and incredibly finished with a team-high 32 points to help the Celtics defeat a talented Pacers team 124-121 and win the series, 3-2.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Pacers Game 5 begins at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday and will feature additional commentary from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, an Indiana native who grew up rooting for the Pacers.

Here's how to watch:

When: Wednesday, April 8, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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Who are the best small forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best small forwards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

The crazy thing about the small forward position for the Boston Celtics is that the team has enjoyed such sustained longevity at the position that it’s actually a bit challenging to make a Top 10 list.

Larry Bird, John Havlicek, and Paul Pierce combined for 44 seasons (and 12 titles) in green, which makes it a tough for anyone else who played in the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 2000s to state a case for inclusion alongside some of the biggest names in franchise history.

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While those three clearly occupy the top spots on our list, the current iteration of the C's are also well represented, led by a pair of young stars on the rise who could continue to ascend on this list in the coming years.

Here’s what we came up with for Boston’s top 10 small forwards in franchise history.

Click here for the gallery.