All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, set to hit free agency after this coming season, talked Monday about the rumors swirling around him and potential landing spots such as the Knicks.
"I think just hearing the balance, it's just a ways away, man," Irving said, according to the New York Post. "But [the hype] is already starting. As long as I could just divide the attention up and it just doesn't infiltrate what I'm focused on during the season, then I'm cool with it."
Irving, who grew up in West Orange, NJ, and had the Knicks on his list of preferred destinations last season before getting dealt to the Celtics, also referred to the New York metro area as "home."
"[The metro area] will always be home to me," he said. "I'm from New Jersey - to just be clear. This is where I grew up, man."
The 26-year-old Irving said earlier this month that he won't be signing an extension with the Celtics this offseason.
"Contractually, financially, it just doesn't make any sense (to sign an extension with the Celtics)," he said.
Irving hitting free agency could be perfect timing for the Knicks, since they don't have much cap space this offseason, but are expected to have plenty in 2019.
Irving's request for the Knicks in the past stems from not only being close to home, but playing with a versatile big man in Kristaps Porzingis. He has told the 7-foot-3 Latvian "I'd love to play with a big like you."
And Porzingis praised Irving's clutch abilities in the past as well.
"I love his game," he said. "I think he's one of the most entertaining guys. And he's clutch. He's clutch and a winner. I love that about him."
Before an injury that cut his season short, Irving averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists over 60 games.