Sometimes, Kyrie Irving sounds a lot like LeBron James.
It makes sense seeing as how Irving spent four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers playing alongside James, one of the best players in NBA history. But it’s enough to question the authenticity of Irving’s leadership with the Boston Celtics.
Cris Carter, for one, is sick of the whole charade.
Irving, who has called out his Celtics teammates on several occasions this season, indicated Wednesday night after Boston’s fourth straight loss he’s anxious for the playoffs to begin. The Celtics currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and won’t have home-court advantage in the first round — and possibly the entire postseason — if they don’t move up, yet Irving doesn’t seem to mind.
“I can’t wait for all this other B.S. about regular season, and keep getting better, and talking over and over and over and again about what we can do to keep getting better in the regular season,” Irving told reporters at TD Garden. “I just want to be at the highest level playing. That’s what I am here for.”
These comments struck a chord with Carter, who called out Irving on Thursday’s episode of “First Things First” for being a “wannabe” amid the Celtics’ struggles.
There certainly are a lot of parallels between how James motivates his teammates and how Irving has acted since becoming Boston’s de facto leader. It’s fascinating, as Irving requested a trade in the summer of 2017 to escape James’ shadow, only to then call his former teammate on the phone recently to apologize for how he acted as a younger player in Cleveland.
Perhaps Irving would be best served to find his own leadership strategy. James’ method has worked for him, historically, but Irving’s comments don’t appear to be going over well in Boston as the inconsistent Celtics stumble toward the postseason.
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Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images