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Kyrie Irving didn’t exactly warm the hearts of Boston Celtics fans this season and some teammates reportedly would be just fine if Irving took his many talents somewhere else.
Former Celtics center and ex-Irving teammate Kendrick Perkins seems to understand why.
“Kyrie’s just a different dude. I don’t know if he can change. You can’t really say he’s still a young talent; he’s a vet now in this league,” Perkins told A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
Irving is due to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He professed in October that he would return to the Celtics, but backed off that claim as the season wore on. The Celtics were unceremoniously dumped by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals — a series in which Irving played perhaps the worst stretch of basketball of his career.
“I don’t know from outside looking in, it don’t seem like … he ain’t representing the Celtic pride and I don’t think he embraced the situation and the history of the Boston Celtics, the franchise, the historic franchise that he was playing for,” Perkins told Blakely.
Irving has been linked to the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks in free agency. The Celtics are also expected to try to re-sign him.
“At the end of the day, Kyrie is going to be Kyrie,” Perkins told Blakely. “Do I see a change? Probably not. He’s too old for a guy to be changing if they’re stuck in their ways.”