Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving doesn’t plan to be like Atlanta Hawks veteran Vince Carter, who is playing in his 21st NBA season at age 41.
According to Celtics.com’s Marc D’Amico, Irving told reporters at shootaround prior to Boston’s game against the Hawks that he only plans to play until his early-to-mid 30s.
Kyrie Irving says he only wants to play in the NBA until his early to mid-30s.
— Marc D’Amico (@Marc_DAmico) November 23, 2018
After marveling at Vince Carter’s longevity this morning, Kyrie Irving was asked if he could envision himself playing that long.
“No, no,” he said. “Once I’m done with this, hopefully in my early-to-mid 30s, I’m done with this.”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 23, 2018
Insert your own joke here about the Celtics’ recent struggles sapping Irving’s desire to keep playing basketball.
Irving is 26, so early-to-mid 30s leaves a lot of time left for him to play and earn money. His next contract will be a big one, likely something in the range of five years and $189 million with the Celtics, assuming he stays committed to the team when the offseason rolls around. After that deal runs out, he will be 32, which would leave him the option of retiring (early 30s) or trying to get one more lucrative deal.
In either case, don’t expect to see much from Irving around the league once he retires: Earlier this summer, he said he expects to be living “off the grid in a self-sustaining community, living with no power.”
Irving marches to the beat of his very unique drum, so an unexpectedly early retirement would make a lot of sense. Until then, he has a lot of basketball left for people to enjoy.