When Kyrie Irving joined the Boston Celtics 2 years ago there were tremendous expectations from their fan base. Everyone believed he is the missing piece that will lead that team to an NBA championship. Irving who already won a championship with the Cavaliers was somewhat seen as a savior with an experience that will help the young Celtics reach the goal of becoming an NBA powerhouse for many years to come. Unfortunately for the Celtics, this experiment failed which resulted in Irving not signing an extension with the team and afterward he made a decision to join the Brooklyn Nets.
In his first press conference as a member of the Nets, Irving finally gave an in-depth explanation of what went wrong with the Celtics. Irving said he felt comfortable in Boston when he arrived there and had so many expectations from the team and was ready to take on the challenge of taking the Celtics to the NBA finals. He appreciated that they traded for him, however, he admitted he wasn’t ready to lead the team to the promised land.
“At that time it felt incredible in terms of the energy that we were building especially for the future in Boston. It was something I couldn’t explain it that time because personally I wasn’t acknowledging the things that were surrounding my life as well and how to lead this group of guys that I was traded to. I wasn’t drafted by Boston, I had no affiliation with Boston before I left Cleveland. Boston was a surprise team that took a chance trading for me. Some of the knowledge needed to be had to win a championship needed more than two years. It takes more than a comfortable environment to do such a thing.”
Irving also explained that the death of his grandfather with whom he was really close to, affected his performance on the court which resulted in a deteriorated relationship he had with the team. He admitted he wasn’t a leader everybody expected him to be and said his time in Boston was a big learning experience for him that will be useful for his fresh start with the Brooklyn Nets.
“Things got really rocky for me in terms after my grandfather died last year and it sucked the joy out of me. I didn’t take the necessary steps to deal with someone so close to my dying. I never dealt with anything like that so I responded in a way that is very uncharacteristic. Throughout that year it got rocky and it was something I wasn’t ready for. I failed those guys because I didn’t give them everything that I could have that season especially with that amount of pieces we had. My personal relationships with them were great but in terms of me being a leader in that environment and bringing everybody together, I failed. For me, this was a big learning experience.”