Celtics

Kyrie Irving a man of few words after Rockets loss

Kyrie Irving a man of few words after Rockets loss

BOSTON — Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving wasn’t in a particularly talkative mood following Sunday’s 115-104 loss to the Houston Rockets, answering nine questions with a total of just 39 words.

Irving scored 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting over 36 minutes on Sunday but only attempted one shot — a miss — while playing a mere 5:35 of the fourth quarter when the Rockets fended off Boston’s furious second-half charge. Boston trimmed as much as a 28-point deficit to single digits but couldn’t get over the hump down the stretch.

A full transcript of Irving’s postgame media session, that lasted just 80 seconds (some questions shortened for length but Irving’s responses in full): 

HOW TOUGH WAS THAT ONE FOR YOU TONIGHT?
“It was tough.” 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF?
“We just didn’t play well.”

IN YOUR CAREER, HAVE YOU EVER GONE THROUGH ANYTHING LIKE THIS?
[Nods, inaudible response]

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO TURN IT AROUND?
“Just play better."

BIGGER CHALLENGE TONIGHT: SHOOTING STRUGGLES OR DEFENDING ROCKETS?
“Probably a bit of both.”

WHAT TWEAKS NEED TO DEFEND 3-POINT LINE BETTER?
“Just our rotation stuff. Getting better on rotations”

YOU SAID YOU WANT TO BE A LEADER OF THIS TEAM, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO KINDA TURN THIS THING AROUND AS A LEADER?
“Just gotta play better.”

TAKE ANYTHING FROM FOURTH-QUARTER RALLY?
“Not result in a win. Just got to play better.”

DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS CAN COME TOGETHER ON THIS ROAD TRIP?
“We’ll see.”

And, with that, the session ended. Irving was one of only two Celtics players to talk before the team raced out for a six-hour cross-country flight to the west coast and a four-game road trip that starts with a visit to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

☘️ ROCKETS 115, CELTICS 104

Irving has often offered pithy responses amid Boston’s struggles but this was by far his most succinct session as the Celtics have dropped seven of their last 10 games overall and sit 2.5 games back of the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

While Irving’s words — or lack thereof — will continue to be highly scrutinized, and his “we’ll see,” response to the final question wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring, he wasn’t the only one at a loss for what ails these Celtics.

Boston big man Al Horford, the only other player to talk to the media horde inside the locker room, couldn’t put his finger on it, either.

“I'm really not sure [what’s going wrong],” said Horford. "I just think that we’ve had some good moments, and right now unfortunately, we’re going through a really bad stretch. This is when our group, we need to make sure that we stay together and even closer, because I know it’s hard. We’re the first ones that don’t want to lose. We just need to continue to work, because we feel like we can be better than this.”

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Classic Celtics: Watch thrilling finishes during 'Iconic Moments Week'

Classic Celtics: Watch thrilling finishes during 'Iconic Moments Week'

The Boston Celtics have won 371 playoff games over their storied franchise history -- and a few stand out above the rest.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series will continue during the week of Monday, May 25, by re-broadcasting five more C's playoff games that feature "iconic moments" we still remember to this day.

We'll take you as far back as the 1970s to a triple-overtime thriller against the Phoenix Suns and also re-live some recent heroics during Boston's latest championship run in 2008.

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Here's the full lineup for "Iconic Moments Week," which includes a new re-broadcast every night of the week starting at 8 p.m. ET:

'Iconic Moments' Week

Monday, May 25: Celtics vs. Pacers, 1991 First Round Game 5
Larry Bird returns from injuring his cheek in the first half to lead the Celtics to a playoff victory over the Indiana Pacers.   

Tuesday, May 26: Celtics vs. Lakers, 2008 NBA Finals Game 1
Paul Pierce exits in a wheelchair but returns later in the game to help the C's beat the rival Lakers at TD Garden. 

Wednesday, May 27: Celtics vs. Pistons, 1987 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5
Larry Bird steals the game, literally, for the Celtics in a pivotal Game 5.   

Thursday, May 28: Celtics vs. Lakers, 1984 NBA Finals Game 2
Gerald Henderson steals James Worthy’s inbound pass with 13 seconds left in the game to tie it, and the Celtics win in overtime to tie the series.  

Friday, May 29: Celtics vs. Suns, 1976 NBA Finals Game 5 
In what many call "the greatest game ever played," the Celtics outlast the Suns in three overtimes.

The action begins Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston, where Brian Scalabrine will be joined by several key players in these games for additional color commentary.

Here's how to watch:

When: May 25, May 26, May 27, May 28 and May 29, 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and the MyTeams app (except May 25)

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Danny Ainge reveals why he initially rejected Celtics GM job offer

Danny Ainge reveals why he initially rejected Celtics GM job offer

Seventeen years ago, the Boston Celtics hired Danny Ainge to be their executive director of basketball operations and general manager.

Getting Ainge on board wasn't an easy task, though.

After spending seven-and-a-half seasons as a player on the C's in the 1980s, one would think Ainge would pounce on the opportunity to run one of the NBA's most iconic franchises. However, that was not the case as he was comfortable with his role as an analyst on TNT's NBA broadcast.

Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca extended the job offer to Ainge twice, but he rejected it both times before finally accepting it in May of 2003. Ainge explained in more detail why he was hesitant to take the job in a recent conversation with Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

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“They (Grousbeck and Pagliuca) told me that (former Celtics president) Red (Auerbach) had recommended that they hire me,” Ainge told Washburn. “I was flattered and I told them thank you. My three older kids had graduated from high school. I have my three youngest at home, so life is a little bit different. I told them I was not interested in the job and I gave them names of people in the league and some former Celtic players they should interview.

“I didn’t jump at it. It wasn’t anything I was looking to really do. As time went on, they had come a second time and a third time while I was broadcasting. I sensed my wife was warming up to the idea. Eventually, I said yes.”

With Ainge at the helm, the Celtics later won their 17th NBA title in 2008. After the championship season, Ainge was promoted to president of basketball operations.

Seems like taking the job turned out to be the right choice.