Why Kyrie Irving Believes Celtics Need ’15-Year-Veteran’ To Lead Team


At this point, one could argue that the Boston Celtics have too many players on their roster.

Kyrie Irving, however, apparently believes his team could use another piece.

The Celtics fell 100-94 to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, marking a fitting end to their forgettable West Coast road trip. Boston dropped four of five on the trip, and now sits a disappointing 7-6 through 13 games this season.

After the game, Irving questioned whether the Celtics, who have an average age of just 25.2, have enough experience to deal with high expectations and the rigors of a long NBA season.

“I think it just comes with, just some experience,” Irving said, via MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “Looking at this locker room, me being in my eighth year and being a ‘veteran,’ as well as Al (Horford) and (Aron) Baynes.

“Right now I think it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet, a 14-year vet that could kind of help us race along the regular season and understand it’s a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint, when you want to play, when you want to do what you want to do. It’s all about attitude and effort. That’s all it is.”

As Irving noted, the Celtics don’t have anyone on their roster who has played more than 12 NBA seasons. Irving is in his eighth season, Baynes is in his seventh and Horford is in his 12th.

Now, would adding a player truly on the back nine make a difference? Given the veteran leadership during the Celtics’ last “Big Three” era, when they received key contributions from 14-year vets P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell en route to their 2008 championship, it’s hard to argue against Irving.

At some point, however, the excuses need to stop and the Celtics simply need to play better. Just ask Marcus Smart.

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