Celtics

Celtics

Celtics fans have watched Boston lose five of its last seven games and play frustratingly inconsistent basketball.

But at least they don't have to put up with Kyrie Irving.

The Brooklyn guard told reporters Wednesday night the Nets have "glaring" roster needs to address, suggesting some of the "pieces" they currently have aren't up to snuff.

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After taking some heat for those comments, Irving felt the need to defend his leadership style Friday.

Here's how that went:

A few highlights from Irving's rambling response, which had a similar tone and feel to some of his more tense moments with the Boston media:

"I always say it's an entertainment league. Very drama-filled, and everything always regurgitates on all these media platforms, which is part of our society."

"I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room, be very communicative, and when I'm out there with the guys, just impact winning." 

"It's not like I'm an ass---- yelling at everybody in the freaking locker room all the time."

"My name -- which was given to me by my grandfather, very grateful -- but it's in a lot of people's mouths all the time. It is what it is. I've earned that respect in terms of how great I am as a player."

 

"I'm going to continue to demand greatness out of myself and demand greatness out of my teammates, and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room—stay the f--- out."

Contrast that to what the Celtics' new point guard, Kemba Walker, said after Wednesday's disappointing loss to the Detroit Pistons:

"It starts with me. I have to be better for my teammates. I have to be better as one of the leaders on the team."

Irving clearly is trying to be Brooklyn's leader with Kevin Durant out for the season due to injury. But leadership doesn't usually entail telling the media your current roster isn't good enough, then complaining when you face criticism for those comments.

In the interest of being "very communicative," Irving said he apologized to his teammates for his recent remarks.

But the 27-year-old hasn't been much of an on-court leader, either: While he's averaging 27.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game, the Nets are 5-9 in the 14 games he's played this season and 13-13 without him.

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