When the Boston Celtics play the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, they’ll face Hawks forward Vince Carter, who is still hoopin’ at the ripe old age of 41.
Kyrie Irving might have gotten a taste of being an old baller as Uncle Drew, but he isn’t keen on playing on anywhere near as long as Carter, according to ESPN‘s Tim Bontemps.
“No, no. Once I’m done with this, hopefully in my early to mid-30s, I’m done with this,” Irving told reporters.
The motivation for wanting retire young isn’t about basketball, or wanting to join a flat-earth convention, but because of the lifestyle of being an NBA star.
“I love basketball itself,” Irving said. “But everything that comes with it? It doesn’t really matter to me, in terms of my life.”
“I enjoy the game, I enjoy being with my teammates, playing every single day. Being an NBA player, this is a dream I’ve had since I was a kid.”
“I think everything else that comes with it doesn’t hold the same stature it once did.”
Kyrie isn’t so much talking about the women, money, sponsors and thousands of freebies – moreso the effort he puts in to perfecting his game.
“I wish there was sometimes more empathy in terms of what we’ve committed ourselves to doing every single day.”
“Putting our bodies on the line, understanding kind of the mental strain you put on just trying to be great every single day.”
“The material gain in it just doesn’t really matter to me anymore as much as it once did.”
“I think the love of the game should always outshine everything else that comes with the NBA lifestyle.”
The good news for Celtics fans is that Irving is only 26, so you’ve got a few more years before Kyrie considers hanging up his shoes.
For more Basketball Forever content, follow @bballforeverfb.