This is a BIG statement from the ultimate team-first guy.
Smart doesn’t have to come out and vouch for Kyrie in this fashion. He could easily side-step the questions. Instead, Smart delivers a strong defense.
Most hot take talking heads have Irving bolting Boston for the Knicks, Nets or Lakers. And I’d estimate about half of Celtics fans are willing to drive him to the airport.
I’ve been uber critical of Kyrie’s leadership style all season. And his performance in this series seriously dents Irving’s claim as a true franchise cornerstone.
But if Marcus Smart is going to bat for the guy, then I think we should all reassess our opinion of Irving’s future in Boston.