Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, who came to the Celtics to help lead the team’s youthful core to a championship, wants you to know that winning is difficult. And that your advice isn’t helping because it’s not coming from him.
“Winning’s hard,” the 27-year-old Irving offered after the C’s fourth straight loss, a Sunday defeat at the hands of LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs. “Team environments are hard. It’s not as simple as just listening to everybody else speak about what’s going on with our team. It’s hard being a professional athlete.
“Being in a team environment and wanting to accomplish something very great, everyone always wants to say, ‘Oh you need to do this, you need to do that.’ Nobody [expletive] knows. Nobody’s been in my position. Nobody here. I don’t expect anyone here to understand that. Everybody can just speak on it, and give their opinion about what would be best for it.”
This isn’t the first time Irving sung this tune that touts his experience over his teammates.
It’s led to some obvious friction within the Celtic locker room at various times this season — it was enough for Irving to call ex-teammate LeBron James and apologize for being that ‘difficult young player’ back in the day — but it hasn’t taken Irving off his goals of being the guy to help bring the best out of his teammates on a potential deep run.
“For me, my focus is figuring out the guys I have in this locker room, how to get the best out of them, and them to get the best out of me,” Irving said. “It’s been hard, but it’s a challenge worth fighting for because the end result is standing on that stage.”
The Celtics will look to end their slide with a Tuesday night meeting against the Cavaliers.
They’ll have to do it without Irving, though, as he will sit this game out with what the team’s termed “load management.”