Kyrie Irving details Celtics' chemistry issues in candid interview

Kyrie Irving details Celtics' chemistry issues in candid interview

Say what you want about the Boston Celtics, but at least they're open about their issues.

The Celtics own a respectable 37-21 record at the All-Star break but haven't quite clicked to meet lofty preseason expectations. That's something they've freely admitted: Kyrie Irving said this team lacked experience after a tough loss to the Orlando Magic in January, while Marcus Morris said earlier this month it "hasn't been fun for a long time" in the C's locker room.

Irving was asked about the Celtics' turbulent season to date in a sit-down interview with Rachel Nichols that aired Wednesday morning on ESPN. His comments were candid and eye-opening.

"It's a lot to figure out all in one year," Irving said. "It's been a trying year for us. Because we basically have a bunch of young men in our locker room that feel like they're capable of doing a lot more of what they're doing.

"And that's OK. But there's a maturity that you have to have. There's a professionalism that you have to really showcase every single day. And that's what the great ones do."


Irving delivered a similar message back in January. But this time, he named names, referencing backup guard Terry Rozier while explaining the effects of Boston's minutes crunch.

"I initially didn't play the minutes I wanted to play. I'm 26 years old heading into my prime. Like why do I have to wait for anybody?" Irving said.

"Terry Rozier -- he played in the playoffs (last season), he did extremely well. Coming back, that's a natural competition that me and him have. Like, it is what it is. No one wants to say it, but I will.

"It's part of their growth. When you have winning in mind, then you've got to do what it takes, but you've got to understand your teammates."

The Celtics' lone All-Star (and pending free agent) insisted his primary focus is on winning, and that any comments he makes are meant to push his teammates to be better.

But Irving apparently also is aware of how players speaking out to the media instead of addressing issues directly can lead to problems.

"A lot of things that are said get into locker rooms," he added. "Media has broken up locker rooms. It's been done before. Where you say something and it's misinterpreted, and instead of addressing it with the person or individual, like human interaction, you read it on your phone.

"You read it on a text, like somebody says, 'Hey, did you see what this person said about you?' and it's your teammate, and you're like, 'Wait, I didn't hear that.'

"And then you hold back, don't say anything to him and then throughout the season, it ends up coming out again. That's not the way life is supposed to go, and it's not the way basketball is supposed to go."

Whether Irving's comments push any buttons in the C's locker room remains to be seen. But Boston faces a tough challenge immediately after the All-Star break, visiting Milwaukee on Thursday night to battle the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks.

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Ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving elected as NBPA Vice President

Ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving elected as NBPA Vice President

The National Basketball Players Association's announcement Monday about its new Vice President likely earned an eye roll from Boston Celtics fans.

Brooklyn Nets guard and ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving was appointed as the NBPA's new VP, replacing Pau Gasol. Irving was elected at Monday's annual winter meeting of the Board of NBPA Player Representatives.

"This was the right time for me to run for a leadership position in the NBPA,” said Irving, per the NBPA's official statement. “I have been an observer and a participant in union affairs for a while, but for the most part, I was off on the sidelines, supporting our Executive Committee as they made important decisions.

"At this point in my career, I wanted to join forces with those guys and take a bigger role outside of the basketball court and within our union. I want to help move the union forward with innovative ideas, not only on social issues but also with business ventures into a new space. I am honored to be elected by my peers and I cannot wait to work with everybody to make an impact."

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Irving being selected for a leadership role certainly is ironic considering the questions about his leadership ability during his brief tenure in Boston. Making it even more interesting is he'll join a committee that includes his former C's teammate, Jaylen Brown (VP).

Also on the committee are Oklahoma City Thunder veteran Chris Paul (President), Miami Heat veteran Andre Iguodala (First Vice President), Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver (Secretary-Treasurer), Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo, Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Nets forward Garrett Temple (Vice Presidents).

Jayson Tatum shares best moments from first All-Star Game on Instagram

Jayson Tatum shares best moments from first All-Star Game on Instagram

Jayson Tatum's maturity on the court this season helped earn him a spot in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago.

But the morning after, the Boston Celtics forward reacted as any 21-year-old kid would: He posted on Instagram.

Here's Tatum recapping his first NBA All-Star Game, in which he added six points, three assists and three steals in 14 minutes for Team LeBron, which defeated Team Giannis 157-155:

"WOW... just played in my first All-Star game! Dreams do come true! Thankful," Tatum wrote in the caption.

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The third-year forward also shared several memorable photos, including a shot of him backing down Celtics teammate Kemba Walker (the starting point guard for Team Giannis) and a picture of him posing with veteran guard Chris Paul.

The relationships Tatum forged (and maintained) at his first All-Star weekend were far more important than his play on the court, and it sounds like budding young star made the most of his opportunity.