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Yes, we have to talk about this again.
Here we go. Kyrie Irving is returning to Boston to play in front of Celtics fans.
We all know that this topic is a powder keg and it doesn’t take much to set it off. Which is why I’m going to address this systematically.
As someone that covers the team I know that this topic has to be covered. It legitimately captures people’s attention but it also unearths lots of very strong feelings that still haven’t been buried very deep. The conversation is quickly derailed and comment sections resemble the Springfield Tire Fire lot. Honestly, whenever I try to avoid the topic on this blog as much as possible (we don’t need the clicks and I just like the blog better when we don’t have to discuss this).
Respecting the on-court performer
Feels like a good time to point out that Kyrie Irving is an astounding basketball player. He has once-in-a-generation type skills that boggle the mind. His handles look like a mix tape from the 90’s. He is a magician in the paint teleporting from one area to another. And he has range to punish you from inside and outside.
That was true when he was in Boston and it is still true today. That isn’t to say that he doesn’t have bad games or say a bad playoff series. But that happens. The guy can flat-out play basketball.
“I plan on re-signing”
Cue the meme music. “Cuz I’m hopeful, yes I am, hopeful for today…” He did not, in fact, re-sign with the Celtics.
It is extremely weird the way that whole situation unfolded. It did not unfold the way the Boston Celtics or their fans would have preferred. It doesn’t seem productive to rehash all that after living through it and covering it endlessly on this blog. There are any number of ways to feel about that as a Celtics fan and I’m going to leave it to you all to deal with that as you like.
Ultimately it was his right to change his mind and make his own decision for his career. None of this is new news and there’s no use trying to change anyone’s mind (or heart) on this matter).
The racism issue
Kyrie Irving brought this up recently, so it should be addressed. (quote via NetsDaily)
“It’s not my first time being an opponent in Boston. So, I am just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully, we can just keep it strictly basketball,” Irving said. “There’s no belligerence or racism going on — subtle racism — people yelling s–t from the crowd, but even if it is, it’s part of the nature of the game and we’re just going to focus on what we can control.”
Let me be explicitly clear here. No matter where you live, if you feel tempted at any time to use racist language, I implore you to seek help and steer clear of any sporting event as well as this blog. Just don’t. There are no excuses, no rationalizations, no exceptions. The end.
Let’s go, Celtics!
The bottom line is that Kyrie Irving is part of the Celtics history. From a certain point of view, he’s just another guy on the other team now. Personally I’m going to focus my attention on the Boston Celtics and what they need to do to pursue the next banner. But everyone has their own way of being a fan. So you do you (within reason).