I'm gonna bury the lede here.
Kyrie Irving is the best player on the Boston freaking Celtics. Everything he does, right or wrong, is going to get a ton of attention, just like it would -- and I shudder to say this -- in New York.
He's had an outstanding season. The 26-year-old has set career highs in assists and rebounds, while tying his career-best in steals per game.
He's also been imperfect, just like the rest of us (read the Bible one time for me). His first go at leading a team hasn't exactly been Garnett-esque. Furthermore, he's said and done things that have screamed "bad teammate." Whether intentionally or not, his lack of renewing his vows with the Celtics during a rocky season for the team has reopened the door for speculation that he'll leave them in free agency.
Translation: Kyrie Irving is my favorite basketball player and the last however many months have even stressed me out. Of course, he can all go away with a simple "I can't wait to play the first of many, many playoff games with the Celtics" quote this week, but he's a different cat. I can't imagine it'll be that easy.
But not everyone likes Kyrie that much. They get more frustrated with him throwing teammates under the bus and getting chesty with the press. This season has proven that being a great player and law-abiding citizen is not always enough for fans who read into every word and every shot of the bench. They need the character. They need the respectable teammate. They need the guy who night in, night out looks like they want to be there.
... But y'all want Anthony Davis?
There's being difficult and there's being 2018-19 Anthony Davis. If you can't handle how Kyrie's acted this season, there is absolutely no way you can be on board with an Anthony Davis. Or let me phrase it this way: If you've had a bad time with Kyrie, you're a glutton for punishment if you'd welcome a potentially similar story with a guy who *just* showed us what he does.
And remember: Kyrie you stole. You don't even get your potential Davis headache without giving up your next Paul Pierce in Jayson Tatum.
We all know why the Celtics would want AD. He's a top-10 player and he's 25. He also can and likely will opt out of his deal after next season, at which point the Woj and Shams (that's not how it's pronounced) murmurs suggest he'll sign with the Lakers.
If trading for Davis keeps Irving here and yields an iron-clad commitment from AD, that's one thing. But here's a quick look at Davis from the past eight months to help inform the other scenario. He:
- left his agent to team up with Rich Paul (the LeBron guy) and Klutch Sports (the LeBron place) in September;
- had his agent (the LeBron guy) tell ESPN on the record that he wished to be traded, knowing public trade demands were against the collective bargaining agreement. In other words, paid $50,000 in fine money to tell the world he wanted out;
- wore a t-shirt that read "That's all, folks!" to New Orleans' final game of the season, then gave the single whackest excuse in world history as to why he did.
And yes, he said that Boston was technically on the list of teams to which he'd like to be traded, but in the same breath, he said every team was. That was a hollow endorsement.
On one hand, at least Davis hasn't been "cryptic," a common complaint about Kyrie. He's been overt in not being a great teammate or leader.
And sure, the Pelicans stink and Davis isn't in as good a situation as Kyrie. Still, if this is how he acts in the year leading up to his presumed trade, how is he going to act in the year leading up to his unrestricted free agency?
People have called Kyrie "Mini LeBron" for the way he's carried himself at points. Considering the Klutch union, if Kyrie is Mini LeBron, AD is Anthony James.
If you think Kyrie's attitude or disposition would hold him back from leading a team to a title, how in the world could you feel good about AD? The man literally walked into a room full of his teammates wearing a shirt that, paraphrased, read "Eff y'all; I'm gone."
What's that shirt going to say at the end of next season in Boston? Is it just going to be a purple and yellow shirt with LeBron's face on it?
After a season of stressing over what Kyrie will do, do you really want another year of that kind of guessing?
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