If a cab driver talked Red into staying in Boston, we can convince Kyrie Irving
I admit it! I was worried and still am - to a point. Kevin McHale once called his friend Danny Ainge, "One cold-blooded character" who would "pull the trigger on a trade" of Kyrie Irving if Danny felt he wouldn't stay with the Celtics. My worry was that Kyrie was not happy with the way his Celtics teammates were failing to mesh with him, and he with them.
The trade deadline is less than three weeks away, and Irving has a player option at $21.3 million for next season. Here is what former Celtic, Kevin McHale, had to say about Kyrie's situation:
Danny Ainge may be a very good friend of mine, but he is one cold-blooded character. If he senses at all that Kyrie (Irving) has not bought in 100% (then digresses) - Terry Rozier showed last year that he could play basketball in the playoffs - He (Ainge) would pull the trigger in a heartbeat - (imagining Danny's presentation to Irving) "If you don't want to be here in the long-term, I'll make a change. I'll trade you!"
You see the reason for concern. But right now, the Slash-Mates, Kyrie and Marcus Smart, are clicking in the back court - Aron Baynes is back from injury - and Smart is hitting his shots. Things are looking up.
January 19, 2019
Irving has become the clear floor leader of his team, and he is backing up his vocal prompts with spectacular play on the court. He is a true superstar and a lot of fun to watch. My guess is that he feels he belongs here in Boston, and the fans need to show him that. So, the bit about the cab driver that talked Red Auerbach into remaining in Boston? The following per Wikipedia:
In the summer of 1978, after the worst in a string of contentious clashes with several different owners after Walter Brown's passing in 1964, Auerbach hopped into a taxi to take him to Logan Airport, where he was to board a flight to New York to consider a lucrative contract offer from Knicks owner Sonny Werblin. However, the cab driver pleaded with him to stay, emphasizing how much Bostonians loved him and considered him family. Soon after, heading a team press conference, and with his typical bravado, Auerbach puffed on his trademark cigar and stated simply, "I'm not going anywhere. We're going to sign Larry Bird, and we're going to be on top again."
Great story! And we don't want Kyrie hopping into a cab to Logan on his way to New York or elsewhere. We want him here. He needs to know that. There are no fans like Boston fans. I think he already realizes that.
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Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images