Dahntay Jones spent parts of two seasons alongside Kyrie Irving with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They won an NBA title together, and Jones believes Irving is the best closer in basketball.
But there’s a theory floating around saying the Boston Celtics — Irving’s current team — are better without the six-time All-Star, who missed the end of last season and 11 games so far this season with injuries. And Jones can’t help but agree.
Jones, who suited up for the Cavs during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 NBA campaigns, explained Wednesday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself” that Irving is a bad fit for the Celtics, who now are 9-2 without the superstar point guard this season after back-to-back wins over the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons.
Jones clarified he meant no disrespect toward Irving, a legitimate franchise cornerstone who won a title with Cleveland in 2016. The former NBA swingman just thinks Boston’s other players are more comfortable in their roles without the ball-dominant point guard and that the Celtics are better defensively with No. 11 on the bench.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge have scoffed at the idea Boston is better without Irving. The results suggest otherwise — the C’s came within one win of reaching the NBA Finals last season with Irving sidelined — but it’d be surprising if Boston didn’t do whatever it could this offseason to ensure Irving sticks around for foreseeable future.