Fans had to say goodbye to last postseason's hero in Isaiah Thomas, though the fact he helped the C's land Irving made that a brief mourning period. Irving has now played 60 games or fewer in four of his seven seasons.
Irving reacted on Instagram, acknowledging he can't control the situation.
Irving will undergo another procedure on Saturday to remove two screws from his patella that were inserted in 2015 to fix a fracture he suffered during that year's NBA Finals.
Irving will undergo another surgery on Saturday to remove the two screws. The Celtics released a statement early Thursday afternoon saying that, while the knee remains "structurally sound" from the surgery to fix a patella fracture suffered in the 2015 NBA Finals, the recovery time is four to five months. Now, he won't take the court again until the beginning of the 2018-19 season, with a 4-5 month timeline placed on his recovery. The wire had been placed there during surgery to fix a fractured patella in 2015, ESPN says. "Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks".
Hayward was recently spotted jogging, but like Irving, will be donned in his nicest Gucci suit on the bench for the entirety of the playoffs.
The Celtics are also without small forward Gordon Hayward, who suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia against Cleveland on the opening night of the season. But while the Celtics remain the season leader for defensive rating, their defense has tailed off in recent months - and more important, so have the underlying metrics. When Hayward went down, they looked poised for a lost season.
Celtics team sources told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan that Irving experienced "immediate relief" once the tension wire was removed, and the team believes that was the source of pain that has hampered him for much of this season.
Just because the Celtics are hurt, that does not mean Gibson will immediately be thrust into a key role. Nevertheless, he is still behind Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Shane Larkin and, when he returns, Marcus Smart, on the depth chart.
"I've been in the National Basketball Association a long time and I've seen some traumatic injuries for our team, but never as many to as many key players as we've had this year".
Scarier than any of that for the Celtics is the long term health of the 26-year-old Irving.
But to your point, look, obviously we all hope Kyrie is back next year playing fine.
But the Boston Celtics have now confirmed Irving will not play any part in the postseason.
In the same span, the Heat have outscored opponents by 15.4 points per 100 possessions with former Celtics big Olynyk on the floor; he's averaged 13.3 points, six rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals. Even with LeBron, one year he missed 30 games. And offering a five-year deal worth close to $200 million to someone with Irving's injury history - despite his talent - is not a sure thing.
Some might see irony in the published reports that Irving allegedly threatened Cleveland last summer, claiming he would opt for season-ending knee surgery if the Cavaliers had not traded him when he wanted out.