As the Celtics continue to struggle, questions arise about Kyrie Irving.
We understood his desire to have his own franchise and be the leader of the pack on a championship team stamped with his gold seal and private chapter in NBA lore. The way things have transpired makes you wonder if Irving foolishly thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. If not, he’s definitely one of the most selfish ballplayers in the NBA.
Before LeBron got to Cleveland, Irving was getting his numbers, but the team was dreadful.
Bron took him under his winng and Irving became the consummate No. 2, providing big-time No. 1 performances in helping the city of Cleveland win its first Championship since Jesus walked the earth. Then Kyrie just bounced like a thief in the night.
The Celtics were supposed to be the perfect situation for Irving, who would be joined by All-Star guard Gordon Hayward to form one of the NBA’s most potent backcourts. Together they would dethrone Cleveland and bring championship glory back to the Shamrocks. It’s been over a decade since The Big Three — Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and newly crowned Hall of Famer Ray Allen — squashed mighty Kobe to secure NBA supremacy.
It’s been a roller coaster road of rebuilding, reconstructing and re-energizing. The “new” Celtics Era has had its setbacks.
Hayward went down after one game. Then we quickly found out that Irving couldn’t physically handle the burden of carrying a team night in and night out and he got injured and missed the entire playoff run. In his absence, young stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown stepped up and shined on the NBA’s greatest playoff stages, nearly making the NBA Finals.
When Kyrie returned for this season, we quickly found out that he wasn’t mentally built to be the No. 1 superstar either. He’s criticized his teammates publicly…and proclaimed “the earth is flat”.
A low point was when he openly admitted that he made a mistake leaving LeBron, called and apologized to The King and appeared to be publicly offering his services or hinting at a reunion. He’s been all over the place about his free agent intentions and he’s been addressing rumors of him signing with the Knicks this summer for months.
Tuesday night’s 118-95 loss to the Raptors was supposed to be a battle between two legit Eastern Conference contenders. Instead it was a blowout loss that magnifies how fast a promising situation has gone south on Brad Stevens and how the Celtics locker room has deteriorated under the supposed leadership of Irving. It’s as clear as day.
"I said to myself, this ain't the place for Kyrie Irving. Come July 1, he's gone."
— First Take (@FirstTake) February 27, 2019
Is Kyrie simply a team obliterator?
He crushed Cleveland in the middle of a championship run and basically told everyone to kiss his ass. Now he’s part of a situation where a championship-contending Celtics squad has transformed into an average ticket. He’s being blamed for sucking the life out of the talented youth on the team and producing personal performances like his 7-point, 3-for-10 disaster on Tuesday night.
I’m not blaming Kyrie for the Celtics being unfit in the Eastern Conference. Stevens was supposed to work out the rotation and playing issues and make sure the young players remained hungry and motivated. Danny Ainge was supposed to construct the perfect roster.
Sad and Frustrated Kyrie Irving thinking about life after Lebron James during game as he watches from the bench as Celtics lose badly to the Raptors 2-26-19 https://t.co/mdJNU1Omsl
— JordanThrilla.com (@JordanThrilla) February 27, 2019
Since Kyrie asserted himself as the franchise player and dumped on his young, impressionable teammates, everything has gone backwards in Boston, from the play of those promising youngsters to the Celtics’ position in the standings.
They have gone from championship contenders to a team that Jalen Rose feels can lose “in the first round of the playoffs.”
Kyrie has to take a major hit for this. After all, it’s HIS team.