How bad did it get between Kyrie Irving and his teammates this season?
On NBC NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh's podcast, Ryen Russillo, ESPN podcaster and host, was asked for his take on how, as Haberstroh put it, "the whole soul of the team was ripped out in like two weeks" with reports of the impending free-agent departures of Irving and Al Horford.
Rusillo said Irving's Celtics teammates told him during the season it got pretty bad.
"I think they should've moved on from Kyrie. Because it was THAT bad," Russillo told Haberstroh. "People around the team, some guys who had never said anything to me, guys are like, 'It's just time.' But you know, you don't want to lose that asset for nothing. So, I think the Celtics were still trying to figure out a way to salvage it. It's not a trade demand, but it's mimicking the same things from like two years ago [when Irving wanted out of Cleveland] where once Kyrie shuts it down, he shuts it down."
The Celtics discussion starts at about the 24-minute mark:
Russillo echoed what some other longtime Celtics observers have said. Maybe the problem isn't with Kyrie's teammates.
"Do you think you're operating on this level of understanding no one can catch up to you? I'm not knocking you. If you're just seeing the world differently than the rest of us, then who am I to tell you you're wrong? If it's that abrasive with all your teammates all the time, then that's a problem," Russillo said.
"As outdated as it seems in 2019, being part of a team is giving up some things about yourself to make this thing work. I think Kyrie is years from saying, 'Hey what if it's it's me and not everybody else?'
As for Horford's exit, Rusillo said it seems to simply be a matter of money.
"Whatever he thinks he's getting is more than the Celtics are comfortable paying him."
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