Kyrie Irving Shared the Most Disclosing Statement on How the Celtics’ Tenure Went Wrong Yet

Kyrie Irving Shared the Most Disclosing Statement on How the Celtics' Tenure Went Wrong Yet

The All-Star guard provided what may have been his most perceptive response to date when asked why his stint in Boston went so badly.
After the Dallas Mavericks avoided elimination in Friday night’s NBA Finals Game 4, Kyrie Irving will return to Boston to confront his history. The All-Star guard has spent a significant amount of the Finals thinking back on his time with the Celtics and how he has evolved since the season that ended badly for him before he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving provided the most insightful explanation of why his stint in Boston didn’t work out on Sunday.

Irving acknowledged he didn’t know how to “manage those personalities” in the Celtics’ locker room in order to help the club win big in an interview with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

“I had no idea how to handle those personalities back then. Irving stated, “I felt like I had to outperform my teammates every day going into it. “When I first started there, I constantly taught them not to be scared to challenge the other guys since we were a highly competitive group. When we were younger players, we all shared the desire to become a dominant team, which is how we got our start.”


That seems like it could turn into a situation where victory isn’t all that likely. Great basketball teams have two things in common: iron sharpens iron and a burning drive to get better by routinely surpassing teammates in practice. However, as Irving points out, there’s a fine line between that and inciting conflict by feeling like you have to outperform your teammates. Regardless of jersey color, a basketball player’s goal is to defeat the opposition team, not establish their superiority as an athlete.


That was a major issue for Irving’s previous Celtics club. The team included up-and-coming players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as a few players in contract years who were attempting to prove they were worth a sizable salary. Kyrie, on the other hand, was a player whose game not only put him and him alone in the spotlight but was also, at times, mercurial.

Irving’s current position as the seasoned head of a title contender appears to have been shaped by those experiences. On Monday night for Game 5, the world will find out if they can also motivate him to play well at TD Garden for the first time in years.


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