Kyrie Irving is a hard guy to figure out.
He seems like an extremely intelligent individual. But then he has his moments where even one of his biggest fans, like myself, thinks, “Is he serious with that comment?”
For example, when he said the Earth is flat. Was he serious? Or was he just trolling everybody? And now, the most recent example, when he said the Boston Celtics need to add a veteran leader, following a loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday night.
The loss marked the Celtics’ sixth loss of the season, just 13 games in. It concluded a five-game road trip in which they lost four, with their only win coming in a dramatic come-from-behind overtime win over the Suns in Phoenix last Thursday night.
Irving scored 39 points in 43 minutes and was the guy who took the team on his back — offensively and defensively — late in the game to lead the way in that comeback win. So it’s somewhat odd that, just two games later, he would tell reporters that the Celtics needed to add another veteran leader.
Here’s what he said: “You know, looking at this locker room, just me being in my eighth year and being a quote-unquote veteran, as well as Al [Horford] and [Aron] Baynes, right now I think that it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet, 14-year vet, that could just kind of help us race along the regular season and help us understand that it’s a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint of when you want to play, when you want to do what you want to do. It’s all about attitude and effort. That’s all it is.”
I mean, what in the world is that? Irving identifies the problem, acknowledges that this is his eighth season in the NBA, and yet, still cries out for help from a “vet” who’s played in the league for 14 or 15 years?
Some have linked this comment to Carmelo Anthony, who, after just 10 games with the Houston Rockets this year, will soon be looking for a new team. This is Anthony’s 16th NBA season. So perhaps Irving was mysteriously sending a message to Danny Ainge, that the Celtics should look into adding Anthony.
Even if that was Irving’s purpose while talking to the media after Sunday night’s loss in Portland, it was a stupid message to send.
Should the Celtics really want to acquire a 34-year-old Anthony? Do they even need to do something like that? I’d say the answer to both of those questions is, “Hell no.”
Forget about Anthony. And forget about adding another veteran. Irving might not have as much tenure as Anthony on paper, but he’s done more in his seven-plus seasons in the NBA than Anthony has done in 15-plus.
Irving is only 26, but he’s already been to the NBA Finals multiple times, and he’s even won an NBA Championship. Everything he says his team needs, he is, with the exception of the 14 or 15 years in the league that he referenced.
When I think of the Celtics, I think of Irving as the leader. This is his team. He is a veteran. He is one of the best players in the NBA. And they need him more than they need any other vet in the league.
I’d say it’s time for someone in the organization to let him know.
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