Kyrie Irving: Celtics players feel like we are capable of more
The Boston Celtics went through inconsistent stretches of play heading into the All-Star break, and Kyrie Irving made headlines at one point for criticizing his younger teammates over it. While he has since apologized for not keeping his frustrations in-house, his opinion does not appear to have changed much.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Irving was asked about Celtics forward Marcus Morris going off earlier this month about a lack of chemistry and not having fun like other teams.
Kyrie Irving sits down to talk about the Celtics' "trying" season: "we have a bunch of young men in our locker room who feel they're capable of doing a lot more than they're doing." We also talked free agency, the LeBron phone call, & how anger can fester if you don't address it pic.twitter.com/VGNqkifWnk
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 20, 2019
“It’s been a trying year for us,” Irving said. “We basically have a lot of young men in our locker room who feel like they’re capable of doing a lot more than they’ve been doing. That’s OK, but there’s a maturity that you have to have. There’s a professionalism that you have to showcase every day. That’s what the great ones do.”
Irving then admitted that he was initially upset about not playing more minutes, noting how he has had a “natural competition” with Terry Rozier after Rozier helped carry the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
There has been a lot of talk about Irving potentially going back on his promise to re-sign with Boston this summer, and his recent remarks about free agency sparked that paranoia among Celtics fans. Boston was expected to be by far the best team in the Eastern this season, but they are 37-21 and fourth in the conference. An early playoff exit would likely make Irving think long and hard about his future.