Despite their slow start to the season, the Boston Celtics brought things all the way back last year. They went on an incredible run to the NBA Finals behind the star power of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. It proved that they’re fulling capable of leading a team to the promised land.
This success comes after years of Boston trying to sign star point guards. Isaiah Thomas was the first, and the most recent was Kemba Walker, but the one most fans remember, for better or for worse, is Kyrie Irving. He ditched Boston back in 2019 in favor of joining the Brooklyn Nets.
Ironically enough, Boston swept Irving’s Nets in the first round of the playoffs this past year. During an appearance on Kai Cenat’s Twitch stream, Irving spoke about the loss to Boston. He said that the Nets needed the loss, as it was a humbling experience.
“It was meant to happen like that, motivation bro,” Irving said. “We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built to be that matchup. We gonna see them again, we gonna have to. They’re gonna be where they gonna be.”
Despite having joined the Nets three seasons ago, Irving has only appeared in 103 games for the franchise. He and Kevin Durant have yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs together.
And while fans may not be fond of Irving, he’s said that he truly enjoyed his time with the team.
Irving on Celtics: ‘I’m Grateful for My Time Here’
Reporters asked Irving about the constant heckling he faced in Boston during last year’s first-round series. While Irving initially compared them to a “scorned girlfriend,” he also said that he really enjoyed his time in Boston.
“I know it’s going to be like that for the rest of my career coming in here,” Irving said of the heckling Boston fans. “It’s like the scorned girlfriend that just wants an explanation on why I left but still hoping for a text back. It’s fun while it lasted. That’s the relationship that makes it fun… But the reality is that I’m grateful for my time here in Boston. Everybody in the front office, everybody in the locker room treated me well. I still have lasting relationships in our league that extend as a brotherhood for us and the league. We still remain close. I was with these guys when they were pups. I just have mutual respect for them, and coming back in this environment, we know what it is.”
Irving’s positive relationship with the organization has been proven time and time again. Jayson Tatum even used him as an example in an argument he made this summer.
Tatum Calls Irving a Superstar
Just because fans continue to paint Irving in a negative light doesn’t mean that Celtics players view him the same way. During his interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report this summer, Tatum used Irving as an example of a superstar.
“Everybody has a different definition of what a superstar is,” Tatum said. “Is Kyrie Irving a superstar?… I agree (he is), but is Damian Lillard a superstar?… There can be superstars, and then there are a few guys in the league right now that are all-time greats. There’s a difference between (Kevin Durant), LeBron and Dame. (Durant and James) are two of the 10, 12 players of all time. While Dame might not be a top 15 player of all time, he was in the NBA’s top 75.”
Boston fans are never going to love Irving, but it’s become clear that he’s still friends with multiple members of the Celtics organization, and that likely won’t change anytime soon.