Danny Ainge began to believe Kyrie Irving was prepared to leave the Boston Celtics for the Brooklyn Nets as soon as March.
“He did express to me on a couple of occasions between March and the end of (the year) that he really wanted to go home,” Ainge said. “I got the impression at that point that he wanted to play in Brooklyn more than he wanted to play in New York.”
Ainge later called back the radio station to clarify what he meant.
“I did not say he said he was gone in March,” Ainge said. “He said the possibility of being gone was there, not that he was going to leave. There was still a strong possibility of him staying in Boston.”
Ainge also said he asked Irving directly if he would still consider re-signing with the Celtics.
“I asked him point-blank in the conversations I had with him, would you consider coming back to Boston? And he was always yes, he was always in that frame of mind. I don’t think he was out the door for sure by then. I think he was contemplating all his options. But I do think he preferred Brooklyn over New York in that moment, to me.”