For all the talk about turmoil in the Boston Celtics’ locker room when the team was led by Kyrie Irving, there doesn’t appear to be any lasting grudge.
That is, if there were ever actually anything there to begin with.
Irving suggested there wasn’t one Thursday following the Brooklyn Nets 121-109 win over his former squad. And when asked about the warm embraces he gave his old teammates, Irving was a bit condescending.
“Big surprise, huh? To a lot of people? All that (expletive) talking about me and all the relationships I have with every teammate of mine,” Irving said, via NBC Sports Boston.
Irving has a right to be defensive after more than two years worth of speculation about his abilities as a leader, though he himself has admitted some shortcomings in that regard while with the Celtics.
But the fact that he beat a team he used to play for didn’t necessarily give him a chip on his shoulder. He leaves that narrative “for the casual NBA fans” to talk about. Instead, he’ll feed off the energy when fans finally can pack arenas like TD Garden and Barclays Center.
“I’m looking forward to that, but games like this in the middle of the season where you go against guys that you’ve known well, it’s always a blessing,” Irving said. “I’m always happy for those guys and I want to see them do well. When we’re playing against each other, we’re just going to leave it out on the floor. That’s just where it stands. We have that respect, but of course, our relationships go way further off the floor.”
Check out Irving’s full comments below: