You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of Kyrie Irving in the coming days. That’s because “Uncle Drew,” the movie based on the character the Celtics guard plays in those popular Pepsi commercials — you know, the ones featuring a wizened, gray-haired dude who’s got mad skills on the basketball court — comes out June 29.
Irving did a ton of interviews Tuesday, and was asked about everything from his health — he’s recuperating from left knee surgery — to his interest in playing for the C’s beyond next season and, of course, about the movie, which costars some of Irving’s pals, including Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, and Reggie Miller.
We wondered about Irving’s impression of Boston now that he’s lived and played here for a year. It’s no secret the city hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation among black professional athletes. And there’s long been a belief that some NBA stars, aware of the riots that roiled Boston after court-ordered school desegregation in the ’70s, perceive the city as racist and wouldn’t choose to play here.
“I can’t really speak for other athletes. I can only speak to my experience,” Irving told us Tuesday. “I feel like I need more experience to speak on that, but when Danny [Ainge] and the organization traded for me, that wasn’t even something I was thinking about. I didn’t hold that perception at all.”
Irving said he knows questions have been raised about Boston’s attitude toward — and treatment of — African-American athletes, but his experience has been positive.
“I can only take it from my own experience,” Irving said. “And, yeah, I’ve had a great time.”