For much of the Boston Celtics’ playoff run, an injured Kyrie Irving has been on the bench, eagerly cheering on his teammates.
But is the Celtics guard putting up a facade?
Jalen Rose, as well as a slew of other NBA analysts, recently suggested Irving secretly isn’t happy about Boston’s postseason success without him. And during Tuesday’s episode of “Jalen & Jacoby,” Rose explained why he believes Irving actually is rooting against the Celtics.
“You can’t now return to the Boston Celtics, if you’re Kyrie, and be that high-usage player that scores 25-plus points, that has five assists and every time there’s an out-of-bounds play, or a big shot, they draw up the play for you,” Rose said. “The other 14 guys gonna look at the coach and be like, ‘Hey, what about me? I’m (Terry) Rozier, I’m (Jayson) Tatum, I’m (Jaylen) Brown, I’m (Al) Horford. I earned the equity last year when he wasn’t out here to get these opportunities.’
“So his usage and all his numbers automatically come down. Now, the other part of that: It’s not the best look for you when your former team (the Cleveland Cavaliers) is in the conference finals, and your current team is in the conference finals, without you.”
Upon initial digestion, Rose’s take sounds ludicrous.
But if you consider the absurd reality that Irving is, in fact, a human being, then Rose’s take actually makes sense. If Irving’s motivations for wanting out of Cleveland really were about wanting to be undisputed “man” on his own team, then the rise of Boston’s young stars during the playoffs probably makes him feel a little weird.
Or, you know, maybe he really is a great teammate and wants nothing more than to see his brothers succeed.
In any event, the Celtics and Cavs are tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference finals, with Game 5 scheduled for Wednesday night in Boston. Whether Irving wants his team to win that game, however, apparently is up for debate.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images