Kyrie Irving apparently has done some soul searching, and the Boston Celtics superstar wants to say he’s sorry.
Whether the Celtics point guard truly feels like a mea culpa is necessary or feels it’s needed to save face (and save the Celtics’ season), Irving opened up in a lengthy interview with Yahoo! Sports where he acknowledged he’s been a little moodier than usual lately.
Irving has been on edge dating back to early February when he seemingly backed off his preseason commitment to be in Boston for the long term. That led to increased scrutiny that, paired with a Celtics nosedive, led to some awkward public interactions for Irving especially as it pertained to the media.
“The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect,” Irving admitted in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven’t done it perfectly. I haven’t said the right things all the time. I don’t want to sit on a place like I’m on a pedestal from anybody. I’m a normal human being that makes mistakes. For me, I think because of how fixated I was on trying to prove other people wrong, I got into a lot of habits that were bad, like reading stuff and reacting emotionally. That’s just not who I am.”
To Irving’s credit, he’s been a model citizen over the course of the Celtics’ road trip that will continue Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Boston is 3-0 on the trip, and Irving was noticeably upbeat in a postgame interview following Saturday night’s win over the Lakers. Following a blowout win at Golden State to open the trip, Irving revealed the C’s ironed out some things on the cross-country flight. Marcus Morris even credited Irving’s leadership for the turnaround.
“I just want to make sure this locker room understands who I am and what I represent,” Irving added. “I’m trying to make sure that they set a great example for young players that are coming after them as well. Like I said, I haven’t said the right things and done all the right things, and I don’t ever want to compare myself to perfection. But I can tell that I’m definitely learning from the older players, the players that are my age and the younger players on how to deal with the evolution of just media. It’s a platform now, it’s an entire industry that bothers a lot of people, entertainers, athletes. Being at the click of a button and someone commenting on your life all the time and you’re seeing it. It doesn’t make you feel good when you’re feeding yourself that.”
Irving, flustered by the constant media scrutiny that comes with being one of the best players in the NBA, also said he’s ditched social media for the time being and is focused on making those around him better.
“This is the responsibility that I have. I’m done complaining about it. I have feelings about it, but I’m not going to keep badgering the media, keep badgering other people, keep badgering this or that. It’s about moving forward and keeping my sanctuary as safe as possible. As long as I go out there and handle my business, I don’t have anything else to worry about. As long as I go out there and do my thing and make sure my teammates are playing well and their spirits are right, I’m doing my job.”
If he continues to do that, the Celtics — despite an up-and-down season with plenty of struggles — should be able to reclaim their standing as a legitimate NBA title threat.