Kyrie has an idea of when he hopes to call it quits.
Kyrie Irving has no desire to be the real life "Uncle Drew" of the NBA.
While guys like Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki have shown that it's possible to keep balling in the league into your 40s, the Boston Celtics All-Star has no plans of sticking around that long. In fact, Irving says he hopes to be done with his NBA career in his early to mid-30s, though it's not because he doesn't love the game.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
His passion for the game itself remains strong, but Irving explains that everything else that comes with being an NBA star "doesn't hold the same stature it once did." Ahead of tonight's game against the Atlanta Hawks, the 26-year old guard was asked about playing as long as 41-year old Carter, who is currently in his 21st NBA season.
"No, no," Irving said with a smile before the Celtics held morning shootaround ahead of the game. "Once I'm done with this, hopefully in my early to mid-30s, I'm done with this."
"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.
"But I enjoy it, though. I love this game."
He continued: "I just think the material gain in it just doesn't really matter to me anymore as much as it once did. The little things are just what make the game special. Coming every single day and playing with these guys, and still try to figure out what that challenge is to be better as a basketball player rather than like, 'What's my popularity like?' or 'What branding could be done here?' or something like that. That all comes, but I think the love of the game should always outshine everything else that comes with the NBA lifestyle."