Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge might be one of the biggest Kyrie Irving fans in the world.
That’s saying quite a bit, since Irving has plenty of enthusiasts. But even among enthusiasts, the sentiment Ainge expressed to the Athletic’s Joe Vardon carries some heft: That Kyrie Irving “can be the best player in the world.”
“I think he feels more comfortable with everything in his life and the organization and where he is as a player,” Ainge said. Readers should note that Ainge brought up Irving during the interview unsolicited.
“I think he’s anxious to be a leader, not anxious to just lead the team in scoring or be the most efficient player on our team, but I think he really wants to hold the guys to a high standard.”
Ainge gave Vardon those comments earlier this week, prior to Irvng’s somewhat stunning announcement to TD Garden season-ticket holders that he plans to re-sign with the Celtics over the summer. Irving’s desire to re-sign isn’t an enormous surprise, but his willingness to verbally commit an entire season before unrestricted free agency is eye-opening.
Verbal commitments mean nothing concrete until a player actually signs, but Irving is making it crystal clear where he wants to be. Presumably, Ainge won’t do anything to try to squeeze a player he believes can be the best in the world. Everybody is happy.