Kyrie has been having statistically one of the best individual seasons in his career, but unfortunately for him, it hasn’t translated well to the play of his team.
The Boston Celtics were one of the best stories in the NBA last season, as their young core made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
This season with the comebacks of their two stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward combined with a deep roster of great players, they were expected to be a championship contender. But inconsistency and rumors around that team have been the story for this team so far, as things are not looking pretty.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that Irving is drifting apart from some of his teammates:
Sources around the team told me that Irving's persona has changed, too: He's become disengaged and detached from those around the team. There is talk that Irving’s friendships on the team start and end with Tatum, with whom he shares an agent. Two sources peg Irving's change in demeanor to early February, around the time he was asked about the possibility of joining the New York Knicks next season.
It seems that most of the problems started when Irving who was seemingly a lock to resign with Boston started to talk about his free agency in a sense that he was going to do what is best for himself and maybe going to leave the Celtics.
That’s when Irving infamously said he’d make the best decision for his family and that he didn’t “owe anybody sh*t.” This induced panic among Boston fans. After all, it was a much different tune than the one Irving was singing in October 2018, when he told a gathering of Celtics season-ticket holders that he intended to re-sign with the team (multiple sources say that same commitment was expressed to his teammates).
His teammate Jaylen Brown who has also had an up and down season, going from a starter to a bench player also commented on the situation in the Celtics locker room:
“To be honest, I’m not feeling good at all,” Brown said. “The losing, it’s not a good feeling. I’m not too good about that.
Because right now it’s not good. It’s toxic. I can’t really point out one thing. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just going to try to be part of the change. I’m going to try to do my best. That’s all I’ve got to say.
When asked how he helps change the culture, Brown said:
I just try to come out and play hard and hopefully that sparks some [change]. But it’s not just up to one person. It’s up to the whole group. Everybody has to be on page. If one person’s not on page, it’s going to affect the whole group. I just try to come out and play hard and see where that leaves me.
The game against the Warriors was a good first step towards a turnaround, and a good playoff run for the Celtics could save everything, but the future is still not looking easy for Boston.