NEW YORK — In Kyrie Irving’s first trip to New York since saying he plans on re-signing with the Celtics next summer, he acknowledged there was a lure to playing with the Knicks, but he reiterated his desire to stay in Boston.
After the Celtics’ 103-101 win over the Knicks Saturday night, Irving revealed he had strongly considered meeting with New York next summer when he becomes a free agent. He then added it was an easy decision to choose Boston.
Irving has an opt-out clause in his contract next summer, which he will exercise. He is eligible to sign a five-year, $188 million extension with the Celtics or a four-year package for $137 million with another club.
“Every team was under consideration but obviously New York had a special place for me,” he said. “Just being from Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent and taking a meeting and playing for [coach David Fizdale] and a great young core that they have here, playing with KP [Kristaps Porzingis], that was a big thing before I planned on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah, New York was a strong consideration.”
Irving can re-sign with the Celtics on July 1 and remain a centerpiece of an elite team that includes Saturday’s standout Jayson Tatum, the emerging Jaylen Brown, All-Star Gordon Hayward and the possibility of another lottery pick joining the club next summer if the Celtics land the Sacramento Kings’ pick.
Irving said those factors made the Celtics an obvious choice.
“I think if you were in my position, I think it would be an easy decision for you as well,” he said. “Thinking about who we have, and the future of what we’re set up for. For me, where I am in age and how I envision my career going, kind of lineage of guys that come before me and the Boston Celtics is something that I wanted to be a part of, so obviously my dad and my mom met in Boston, so obviously I have a lot of history there. Obviously being from Jersey has a history there but Boston’s, there’s nothing like it.”
Irving said he talked with Porzingis before the game about his health and has been an admirer “from afar” of the skilled forward. Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL.