“I’m happy here,” Irving told reporters. “Every single day is at an all-time competitive high. What more can you ask for from an organization than taking a chance as far as getting me out of Cleveland? Really taking a chance regardless of whether I signed back or not.
“They had the same attitude. They just wanted to show me what being a Celtic is about, and that I was going to come around, and I absolutely did. I believe in it. I believe in the franchise.”
Irving revealed at a gathering of Celtics season-ticket holders at TD Garden on Thursday that he intends to re-sign with the team, despite previous reports of the contrary.
He said Friday that one season in Boston, which ended early with knee issues, wasn’t enough to convince him to stay with the Celtics. But he now is certain, he said.
“I needed just some time to kind of be back in Boston and feel great about different things I wanted to explore in my career,” Irving said.
He said he dreams of his No. 11 hanging from the rafters one day, joining the retired numbers of legendary Celtics.
“Obviously, a lot of great players have come before me, but to grow my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I’m glad I can do, and I plan on,” said Irving, who added he confirmed the Celtics want him back.
“Honestly, it just was like, ‘Man, I do not want to move again.’ I do not want to uproot my family and just be dealing with anything new again. No disrespect to other organizations, but here is perfect for me.”
Multiple reports surfaced Friday that Irving has discussed with New Orleans star Anthony Davis the possibility that Davis could join the Celtics one day. Because of complicated league rules, the Celtics could not acquire Davis in a trade this season but would be required to wait until the following year.
Irving, 26, spent his first six NBA seasons in Cleveland before being traded to Boston ahead of the 2017-18 season. In his 60 games with the Celtics, he averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists. On his career, he averages 22.0 points and 5.5 assists.
–Field Level Media