Kyrie Irving reportedly refused to sign autographs for charity, gave no reason
Kyrie Irving has done and said a lot of unusual things during his NBA career, but one decision he made toward the end of last season seemed like a head-scratcher even for him.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan published a lengthy feature on Friday detailing what went wrong with Irving in Boston, and she said the Celtics were genuinely puzzled over how the All-Star point guard became a malcontent so quickly. As an example of Irving’s apparent disdain for the organization, MacMullan mentioned an incident at the end of the regular season when Irving was the only player on the team who refused to sign basketballs for charity.
Sources told MacMullan that every member of the Celtics signed 100 balls for the team’s charitable partners, but Irving decided not to. While he was not confrontational, he apparently would only say that he is “not interested in that.”
There could certainly be more to the story, but that is a bad look for Irving. Even if his relationship with his teammates, head coach Brad Stevens and others within the organization was tarnished beyond repair at the point, players will typically push that aside for a good cause, and signing basketballs for charity sounds like it qualifies.
Irving verbally committed to re-sign with Boston prior to the season, but things could not have gone much worse in the months that followed. It sounds like he has already made up his mind about where he will play next, and it’s fair to wonder how disappointed the Celtics are to see him go.