Boston Celtics fans won’t have to wait long to see Kyrie Irving in a Brooklyn Nets jersey.
In October 2018, Kyrie Irving declared to a group of Boston Celtics season-ticket holders that he planned to re-sign with the franchise this summer in free agency.
On Nov. 27, Celtics fans will have their first chance to serenade him in boos since he officially went back on that pledge.
The NBA released the schedule for the 2019-20 season Monday, which includes four games between the Celtics and Irving’s new team, the Brooklyn Nets.
- Nets at Celtics: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Celtics at Nets: Friday, Nov. 29, 12 p.m. ET
- Nets at Celtics: Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
- Celtics at Nets: Saturday, March 21, 6 p.m. ET
The Celtics will undoubtedly be eager to prove they’re better off without Irving.
Boston arguably had the most talent of any Eastern Conference team last season, but locker room turmoil submarined what could have been a championship-winning campaign. Irving frequently clashed with his younger teammates, many of whom struggled to take a step back after guiding the Celtics within one win of the 2018 NBA Finals sans the six-time All-Star point guard.
As Irving made it increasingly clear that he planned to leave the Celtics to sign with the Nets, Boston pivoted to another All-Star point guard: Kemba Walker. When the Charlotte Hornets lowballed Walker, the Celtics swooped in and snagged him with a four-year, $140.8 million max contract.
Walker isn’t quite as talented as Irving, but the upgrade in chemistry cannot be discounted. If Walker is more willing to defer to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart than Irving was, the latter’s departure could prove to be addition by subtraction.
Although these teams clash four times throughout the regular season, Irving’s first game back in Boston is the biggest can’t-miss affair. Expect a cacophony of boos from Celtics fans that night.