Celtics' Kyrie Irving cheered by MSG crowd during player introductions

Posted February 03, 2019

Kyrie Irving told fans at the beginning of the 2018-19 season at the TD Garden that he plans to re-sign with the Celtics.

Discouraged earlier this season by the play of some of his younger teammates, his frustration now is with the talk about matters beyond basketball, with the trade deadline less than a week away and his name being tied to Anthony Davis' future as he seeks a trade from New Orleans. There's just one problem: The promise that Irving made to stick around in Boston long-term suddenly is being called into question following a series of quotes from All-Star point guard.

Kyrie Irving had 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists before a Madison Square Garden crowd eager to start the free agent wooing five months early, and the Boston Celtics beat NY 113-99 on Friday night in the Knicks' first game since trading Kristaps Porzingis.

After dealing Porzingis, the Knicks have the available cap space to sign two of the top impending free agents. "I'm just going to do what's best for me".

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Irving is a New Jersey native who starred at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth.

"I appreciate the fans, I appreciate the support, but it's really about our team now and what we want to accomplish this season - and that's a championship, so my focus is stuck on that".

When asked if his mindset regarding his decision to re-sign with the Celtics had shifted, Irving said, "Ask me July 1". "I was just happy to get it done with".

Damyean Dotson led NY with 22 points while rookie Kevin Knox scored 21 to keep things close. They applauded him during introductions, cheered every time he touched the ball in the first quarter and even had a "we want Kyrie" chant break out during the third quarter.

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The Porzingis trade - for Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and two future first-round picks - opened up some $70 million in cap space in one swift move.

Knicks: Coach David Fizdale said the new players had been in the arena Friday before the game.

"I can't think that way".

"I respect the Knicks organization", Irving said.

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Further, Irving said of his potential change of heart about staying in Boston: "I don't owe anybody [expletive]". "I'm always going to come out to win and to be there for my teammates".