GKyrie Irving, Celtics’ all-star point guard did not attend Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals where his team lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The president of basketball operations for Boston, Danny Ainge told reporters that he was absent because of a nasal surgery.
He noted, “Kyrie had a deviated septum, had some surgery on that, and so I don’t think he wanted to be seen.” He teased the player with a jest, saying, “He’s a really good-looking guy. He can’t ruin his movie career.” Jeff Wechsler, Irving’s agent told ESPN earlier that he wanted to be present during the finals but couldn’t do so because of his surgery.
He said, “It was a residual from the facial fracture he had earlier in the season. He had the knee surgery, and now he’s taken care of this sinus surgery, so he will be all set going forward.” The injury in reference is the one Irving sustained in November last year.
The player’s career since then has been a rocky ride as he hasn’t played in any games of the team’s campaign to win the Eastern Conference finals. He underwent two knee surgeries in March and April during which screws from his left patella were removed. The team had indicated at the time that he could take anywhere between four to five months to recover fully.
The Boston season ended with a disappointing loss to the Cavs by 87-79 in Game 7 on Sunday. Irving, along with Gordon Hayward, fellow all-star injured player was in rehab for weeks and were not spotted in any of the games for their teams this postseason. Hayward was mostly seen spending his last one month with a running specialist from Indiana. But the all-star guard was working out in Boston during the early playoffs.
Ainge commented that they were looking forward to Hayward returning during the season and resuming basketball completely. The player had earlier dislocated his ankle playing in the season opener. He said, “Gordon is progressing well. He’s on the court now, finally doing a little bit of competition, like just one-on-one. And he’ll progress along that line slowly. We think that he’ll be playing basketball in the next couple months.” Most players and staff suggest that it would be hard for both star players to watch their team carry on to the finals and losing in their absence.
Ainge further said, “I don’t think any of us can really understand. That never really happened to me as a player, so I’m not sure I understand, but I could see it in their eyes all year when Gordon was out. It hurts to not be able to play, especially when the team was doing so well, and same thing with Kyrie.” He even said that both would risk anything to be out there and play for their team. He hopes that they will be back in great shape in the next season.
When asked whether the team should go without any of the players, he scoffed and said that they are a part of the Celtics and have performed well. So, there is no question about a move.