Kyrie Irving shocked the TD Garden crowd on Thursday night at a season ticket holders event by announcing he planned on signing with the Celtics as a free agent next summer.
The announcement came at the tail end of a Q-and-A that was moderated by Brian Scalabrine, which featured Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. In a sign that the announcement was not out of the blue, Scalabrine asked Irving about potentially having his numbers in the rafters, at which point Irving took the mic and stood up while addressing the crowd.
"I've shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization as well as everyone else in Boston. If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year," Irving said to standing ovation.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 4, 2018
The announcement comes on the heels of plenty of positive talk about Boston for Irving in the past few weeks. He spoke glowingly about his comfort level on media day and then Irving continued that positivity at the Forbes 30 under 30 summit earlier this week.
"We all know what a real sports city is. They call it Titletown for a reason. And I was just elated to be here. That was a big move and I'm glad I have a year in now in Boston and I'm ready to continue here.
"You think, 'what about a new location?' and it's just like I want to be comfortable and what's better than being in Boston? This year has felt much different because of the environment that has been created for me and by me and going to the new practice facility. There's nothing like playing at TD Garden. I didn't say that to appease you guys. I actually love Boston."
BSJ Analysis: This does not come as a major surprise beyond the timing of Irving making the announcement.