Kyrie Irving Apparently Didn’t Like Living In Boston

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The reports coming out of Boston in the past few weeks don’t bode well for Kyrie Irving‘s future with the Celtics. It started when the six-time All-Star declined his player option for the final year of his contract, making him a free agent this offseason after publicly promising Celtics fans last summer that he was in it for the long haul.

Irving was almost certain to opt out and sign a new deal no matter where he ended up playing next year. But a lot has changed since then. Irving never quite meshed with Boston’s collection of young talent this season, and their lack of on-court chemistry was palpable at various points. There were also plenty of rumors about their chilly locker-room dynamic, with certain among them — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier — increasingly resentful about what they perceived as Irving’s patronizing leadership style.

Now, as the Celtics are apparently prepping for his departure, even more whispers are trickling in about why Irving wants out, the latest coming from veteran ESPN reporter Jackie MacMullan, who says Celtics insiders have told her that the 27-year-old point guard’s dislike of living in Boston has played a major role in decision to enter free agency.

Here’s what she told Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast:

“Kyrie Irving didn’t like Boston. I’ve been told this by many people. He didn’t like living in Boston. He just didn’t. By the end, he had issues with Brad (Stevens), by the end he had issues with Danny (Ainge), by the end he had issues with pretty much all of us.”

Prior to Kevin Durant’s injury, the rumor with the most traction had Irving joining KD on the Nets. Brooklyn, however, has reportedly harbored some reluctance to bring Irving in if they miss out on Durant. Another report claims that Irving has “ghosted” the Celtics since the season ended, which obviously doesn’t point to him sticking around, but there’s still a lot that can happen between now and June 30 when the free agency moratorium begins.