With rumors of the latter’s departure swirling for the last month, inside stories of Boston’s disappointing season have made headlines, many of which involve Irving’s relationship with his teammates. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix added to those in a Fox Sports Radio appearance Tuesday. The NBA insider said Irving had an “awful” relationship with Boston’s young players, specifically referencing his rocky ties with Jaylen Brown.
“You can write a whole book on what went wrong because the season was basically a disaster from start to finish. His (Irving’s) relationship with the young players on the roster was awful. Jaylen Brown, he was probably the worst with,” Mannix said. “I don?t think it was great with Jayson Tatum, and it was awful with Terry Rozier because Terry was supplanted at a position he thought he did enough to win. That created a pretty nasty atmosphere. Kyrie?s leadership skills were lacking, and he failed at it. He was the first player to be coached by Brad Stevens who didn?t really enjoy being coached by Brad Stevens and that relationship wasn?t solid.”
We all remember their postgame interviews amid a January road-trip, when Brown indirectly jabbed at Irving after the All-Star point guard called out the team’s younger players. So yes, the evidence was there, but reports like this one help to confirm our suspicions.
If Irving does in fact depart for say, Brooklyn, the narrative of young guns vs. veterans will likely play less of a role next season.