Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving joined teammate Jayson Tatum on the Knuckleheads podcast to discuss all things Celtics. Given the up and down season the team has endured coupled with Irving’s free agency looming the conversation quickly narrowed in on his future with the franchise.
By now it’s no secret that Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving are close friends. The two share the same Alma matter in Duke University, and the two have openly discussed their relationship many a time. The Ringer’s own Kevin O’Connor recently touched on the link between the two, stating that Irving’s friendships on the team start and end with Tatum.
Throughout the interview, hosted by Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, it became clear that the two share a special bond that could link the duo together for years to come. Kyrie touched on the endless potential that Tatum possesses and how he views it as a driving force moving forward.
“We’re six years apart. And I try to tell him, I’m like, look: ‘I’m a liason between all of this… Whatever you need me to do. I’ll get out your way once you get to that point [of greatness]. You go ahead. This is yours. You want it? Go take it.’ And I tell J as well: ‘Me and you in this, going for the guts and glory. When it’s all on the line? I know I need you right next to me. So let’s get this thing going.’ I have a different relationship with all of my teammates but specifically with him, how special he is.”
Those are pretty powerful words coming from one of the NBA’s elite talents. Clearly he sees greatness in Jayson Tatum and he wants to be a part of it. Even if that means taking a backseat (again) to make it happen.
This information is particularly interesting given that Irving’s free agency will take place at the end of this season, and the Celtics have made it clear that they have every intention of bringing the star point guard back long-term. Adding to that, Boston continues to seek the services of Anthony Davis, who the Pelicans have held for a king’s ransom. New Orleans is expected to demand that any trade talks with the Celtics start with Jayson Tatum.
To what degree will Kyrie’s relationship with Tatum effect both his own free agency and Boston’s plans to sign star forward Anthony Davis? If Kyrie insists that he needs the 21-year-old forward next to him moving forward, could it be a case of either Irving or Davis?
How the Celtics approach the off-season could change the face of the franchise and the NBA for years to come. Believe it or not, Jayson Tatum is the man at the epicenter of it all.