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Knicks fans already trying to recruit Kyrie Irving

Knicks fans already trying to recruit Kyrie Irving

If they win the lottery and land Williamson with the No. 1 pick and lure Durant and another star to NY, they become instant contenders in the Eastern Conference.

"It's nothing but a distraction at this point", he said.

His comments come in stark contrast to what he said before the season, making some wonder whether or not he will re-sign with the Celtics.

Amid all that upheaval, many were nearly too distracted to notice that Kyrie Irving opened a whole new can of worms on Friday when he told reporters that not only was his pending free agency this summer up in the air, but that he "doesn't own anybody sh*t" in terms of the expectations laid out before him.

"Like I said, I'm appreciative of the fan support I get in any arena", he said on Friday.

The New York fans' admiration might be misdirected as Irving already made a point at a Celtics' fan event last fall of telling the crowd he would re-sign with Boston.

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Few people seemed offended, a completely different reaction than what Janet Jackson got at the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show . Before the show, Levine acknowledged there had been controversy but said the band would "speak through the music".

Discouraged earlier this season by the play of some of his younger teammates, his frustration now is with the talk about matters beyond basketball, with the trade deadline less than a week away and his name being tied to Anthony Davis' future as he seeks a trade from New Orleans.

Hassan Whiteside had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who lost their second straight overall and have dropped four of the last six.

Torrey Craig scored a career-high 22 points off the bench for Denver, which ended a nine-game losing streak against the Rockets.

The Knicks' new players were not available, so they started Dotson and Kadeem Allen as guards. So I'm always going to be mature about that, professional, come to do my job every single day, and really just see what happens.

"I respect the Knicks organization", Irving said. But like I said, it doesn't help when, across the league, it's just outside noise again, and my name gets thrown into it - and conversations, speculations, everybody's anxious about their credibility. "I'm going to carry that for a while".

"I don't owe anybody s--", Irving added, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. Not that they had a player as good as Porzingis during those dark years, but their cap-clearing moves were mostly inconsequential salary swaps involving the likes of Jared Jeffries and Tracy McGrady.