Kyrie Irving Admits Mistake, Offers Advice to Newcomers Planning To Play for the Celtics

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving offered some words of wisdom for those who may play for the Boston Celtics in the future.

Kyrie Irving isn’t your typical former Boston Celtics player. Boston fans embrace their own. If you’ve played for the Celtics and you’ve given your all, Boston fans will adore you. That wasn’t the case with Irving.

Irving was a superstar with the Cleveland Cavaliers who came to Boston via trade in 2017. Initially, he was embraced by Celtics fans during an event with season ticket holder. There, he announced he planned to re-sign with the team when his contract ran out. Two years later, he was gone, bolting to the Brooklyn Nets via free agency.

Now with the Dallas Mavericks, Irving faces elimination in the 2024 NBA Finals as the Mavs trail 3-1 in the series and head to Boston for Game 5 on Monday, June 17. Before Game 5, Irving opened up about his time with the Celtics.

Irving Admits to Mistake He Made When Playing for the Boston Celtics

Irving and Celtics fans haven’t been a good mix since the All-Star point guard left Boston after his two seasons. Fair or unfair, Irving absorbed plenty of blame for being unable to be the veteran leader of a young team led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and take it to the next level.

Since his departure from Boston, fans at TD Garden have hounded Irving when he’s returned to the city. Chants of “Kyrie sucks” fill the Garden, and he’d booed each time he touches the ball. It’s clearly gotten to Irving, who was fined at one point for flipping off fans during a game in Boston.

During a press conference in Boston before Game 5, Irving opened up about his time in Boston, admitting he could’ve done much better.

“When I look back on it, getting traded here, this wasn’t one of my options,” Irving told reporters. “It wasn’t like number one on my list, so when the trade opportunity got approached to me, instead of going back and appreciating the Celtics history, I just came in with an open mind. Just kind of like, I’m just going to go with the flow into this.

“I think that was the wrong approach, just being young. Now that I’m a little older, hindsight looking back on it, I definitely would have taken the time to get to know people within the community, talk to some of the champions that have come before me. Actually, extend myself to them instead of the other way around.

“They have championship pedigree here. They’ve shown it for years. You have to show your respect here, and that’s what I struggled with initially. They expect you to seamlessly buy into the Celtics’ pride, buy into everything Celtics, and if you don’t, then you’ll be outed. I’m one of the people that’s on the outs, and I’m perfectly fine with that.”

Irving Offered Advice to Potential Celtics Free Agents and Draft Picks

Irving played three full seasons with the Nets before they traded him to the Mavericks in February 2023. In his second year with the Mavs, he’s teamed with star Luka Doncic to get Dallas to the NBA Finals.

While he’s enjoying success in Dallas, he’s also had to constantly answer questions about his time in Boston during the NBA Finals. Irving has matured since his time with the Celtics. He’s admitted mistakes he made, and he also offered some words of wisdom for any potential free agents or draft picks who will play for Boston.

“Just expect to have a magnifying glass on you wherever you go,” Irving said. “I don’t think Boston appreciates being second class to New York in terms of the media capital of the world, but this is the media capital of the world as well. There’s a lot of history here off the court as well.

“The community is integrated into the Celtics team. That’s probably the best way I can say it. The community is what makes the Celtics great here in Boston. Pandemonium, that’s what makes this place so loud and so special. They take pride in that.

If any player is coming here, getting drafted here or thinking of coming here in free agency, just do your homework and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. That’s something I can offer.”

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