It’s been a little bit since we’ve heard from Kyrie Irving and, well, there’s quite a bit to catch up on.
The Boston Celtics’ star point guard left late in the first half of last Saturday’s brutal loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. After Irving’s departure, the Celtics proceeded to blow a 28-point lead.
In the aftermath, C’s veteran Marcus Morris had some pretty pointed comments about the team and admitted that he hadn’t been having fun for a while. The Celtics responded by winning their next two games, both of which without Irving, including a big victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in their the next contest.
Because he was injured, Irving didn’t address the media after the loss to the Clippers or at any other point later in the week. However, he’s down in Charlotte, N.C., for the All-Star Game — which he will play in — and made his first public comments since the meltdown against the Clippers.
When asked about Morris’ comments, Irving offered this.
“Well, I mean, there was some truth into it,” Irving said, via The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. “You know, we obviously understand that we have a lot of talent in our locker room, so it’s been a lot to manage. But we’ve come out pretty successful — obviously not as successful as we would like to be, but that’s just overall the attitude that you have to have in order to win in this league.
“You want to be the top team in the East,” Irving added. “You want to be one of the top teams in the whole entire league, you know, have playoff position, enjoy the regular season and, you know, have fun. At the end of the day, I’ve also played in Cleveland in my beginning years, like, it wasn’t fun every single day. Like, things happen within the locker room and you’ve just got to move on. And the maturity of young players understanding that, that it’s just part of the business — you know, it’s not college, nobody’s babying you, you guys aren’t going to baby anybody, you’re not going to hold back your tongue or your words — so it’s OK to make mistakes. The judgments outside don’t really matter in terms of what you feel as yourself. Nobody’s going to validate who I am anymore. I used to do it. I struggled with it, just mentally, just really figuring out how powerful words are and what they mean. Honestly, nobody can tell me who I’m going to be anyway, so once I started believing that, all this just became a lot easier.
“So there’s some truth in it in terms of our team, but the understanding of just the overall big picture is the only thing that matters when it comes to these NBA locker rooms and setting goals for yourself.”
Indeed, the Celtics are loaded with talent, plenty of which is young. If they finally can hammer out some of the chemistry issues that have plagued them this season, one has to think they might finally be able to live up to some of those lofty expectations set before the season.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images