Kyrie Irving returned to the Garden for last preseason game, a 113-89 blowout for the Brooklyn Nets over his former team, also marked Irving’s first game back at the Garden after a shoulder injury prevented him from joining the Brooklyn Nets last year.
Kyrie Irving makes his return to TD Garden.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 18, 2020
Kyrie’s final year in Boston in 2018-19, there was a conflict between him and his younger teammates. But Irving and Jaylen Brown and then Irving and Jayson Tatum each shared hugs before the game.
“I’m grateful to be able to have relationships with a lot of these guys that are still here,” Irving said.“At the end of the day we went to war together. I respect all those young men down there.We’re just young kings growing in a business where we want to do what makes us happy. …To see Jayson get better to see Jaylen get better and see these guys mature in the positions there in, I’m nothing but proud of them,” Coming here is easy. Performing here is easy.”
Kyrie Irving reminded everyone of his considerable eccentricity when he arrived in TD Garden with a burning sage, a Native American cleansing ritual, when he walked back into the Garden for the first time.
"Kyrie probably sages his room before he plays 2K … That's his thing, and we all respect him."
— ESPN (@espn) December 19, 2020
“That’s just his thing,” teammate Kevin Durant said in an interview with ESPN.
“Kyrie probably sages room before he plays 2K. We respect his game. We respect his methods.”
“It comes from a lot of native tribes use sage to cleanse the energy,” Irving said.“There’s nothing that I did today that I don’t do at home.”