It didn’t take Kyrie Irving long to realize the Boston Celtics team he was playing for was destined to be great.
The 2017-18 Celtics certainly had their share of bumps in the road, beginning with the opening-night injury of Gordon Hayward that sidelined the forward for the season.
That loss was a particular gut-punch to the C’s not just because of the caliber player Hayward is, but because to that point, everything was jelling so easily.
During an appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” Irving explained that the varying background each player came from entering the season allowed Boston to start from the ground up. Be it Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart stepping into magnified roles, or Jayson Tatum fitting in as a rookie, the group just meshed well together.
So much so that Irving knew from the first day the Celtics were going to be great.
“We had a really good training camp, like a really good training camp,” Irving told Simmons after detailing why the loss of Hayward was so big. “The preseason games weren’t even going to be the factor to determining how great we were going to be, I knew it from the first day. Because the challenge of forming this team wasn’t really hitting us. We had already come from different situations.”
Although things didn’t pan out the way many thought they might entering the season, a healthy Hayward and Irving will make Boston one of the teams to beat next campaign. Furthermore, given what Irving just detailed, it sounds like there will be no issues with the squad picking back up and building where they left off.
And though Irving has played coy about his future with the Celtics, the way he has gushed about his teammates certainly should give fans something to look forward to.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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