Why Paul Pierce Thinks Kyrie Irving’s Teammate Comments Were Justified

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Paul Pierce had no problem with Kyrie Irving calling out his Boston Celtics teammates.

Irving said Saturday night after the Celtics’ 105-103 loss to the Orlando Magic that Boston’s younger, less experienced players haven’t adjusted to the pressure that comes with heightened expectations this season.

The C’s point guard clarified his comments Monday before Boston’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets — the team’s third straight defeat — and Pierce completely understands where Irving was coming from.

“However he has to do it to wake them up,” Pierce, who spent 15 seasons with the Celtics (1998-2013), said Monday on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “Kyrie understands what it takes to win a championship, so he’s trying to show them there’s an everyday process to this.

“When I won a championship (with the Celtics in 2008) and we came back the next year, it was like, ‘Don’t get bored with the process’ or ‘Understand what the process is.’ And that’s what he’s trying to teach them. And that’s why they’re inconsistent, because they don’t understand that. It doesn’t start just on the court during games; it’s in practice, it’s the little things … It’s the little things that they have to follow — the details that it’s going to take for them to win a championship — and Kyrie’s trying to show them that.”

Irving, a five-time All-Star, isn’t just the Celtics’ best player. He’s also one of only two players on Boston’s roster with a championship ring (Aron Baynes is the other), having won a title with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

So yes, Irving has some clout in the Celtics’ locker room. And it’s interesting to see how the 26-year-old chooses to use that power with Boston struggling to become more consistent this season.

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