Kevin Boyle, Kyrie Irving‘s former coach at St. Patrick High School, expects the Celtics’ new starting point guard to take home MVP honors in 2017-18.
Boyle was against the Cavs trading Kyrie, and thinks he’ll lead Boston to the NBA Finals.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 6, 2017
The C’s lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and are counting on the 25-year-old superstar to get them past the LeBron James-sized hump and back into championship contention.
Although the question about Irving as he makes this move remains the same – “Are you aware of how good this kid is?” – the context is much different, the doubt much greater. Irving has a résumé at age 25 that few players in NBA history can match. But Irving’s controversial decision to leave LeBron James – and that annual NBA Finals conga line – has many wondering about his motivations, whether he can win without the greatest player of this generation, and if he’s even worth all of the fuss. Ask Boyle how good Irving is now and he’s prepared to offer a full affirmation.
“I think, this season, he will be the MVP and Boston will be in the championship series,” Boyle, now coach at Montverde Academy in Florida, told The Vertical. “That’s crazy, his high school coach is saying this. Some might say that’s somewhat of an outrageous statement, but it’s also smart if it’s right. The last time, I said he’d be the best guard ever from New Jersey, and I was right.”
A clean-shaven Irving showed up for his introductory news conference with the Celtics resembling that fresh-faced high school junior starting over at St. Patrick. He’s a man now, capable of growing a full beard. He’s also emboldened by a fearlessness that helped him secure Cleveland’s only NBA championship with a step-back 3-pointer over Stephen Curry in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals and invite the scrutiny of putting aside that success to seek a better place for his personal growth a year later. “It was my time to do what was best for me in terms of my intentions and that’s going after something bigger than myself and obviously being in an environment that’s conducive for my potential,” Irving told reporters in Boston.