Kyrie Irving has been at odds with a lot of things lately.
He’s been at odds with the media and at times even with his teammates. He addressed the team’s struggles and his propensity to get a little bit short with reporters on Tuesday.
“I get tired of all this (criticism) stuff, just like everybody else,” he told reporters. “It’s a constant battle because media has just gotten outrageous, you know what I mean?
“I just saw something the other day where he’s the greatest player playing in our game right now, but just seeing somebody question (LeBron James’s) body of work, like my body of work, (Kevin Durant’s) body of work, the team success falls on the best player and whether to call it fair or unfair nobody should ever question what type of winner those guys are, what type of winner I am, or whether or not I have the ‘team first’ mentality.
“Nobody wants it to be solely about them, but (star players) take most of the responsibility, and so does the head coach. So when you have that and you have a relationship, you have to build with that.”
The Celtics have lost five of their last six games and currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference heading into a matchup with the Warriors on Tuesday.
Irving is in the midst of one of his best seasons statistically as he is averaging career highs in field goal percentage (49.6 percent), 3-point shooting (41.7), assists (6.9) and assists-to-turnover ratio (2.65). But his team is struggling while Jaylen Brown even went so far as to say the environment with the Celtics is “toxic.”
The season has been a struggle and Irving has gotten frustrated.
“Coming out the All-Star Break, it wasn’t the best type of energy,” he said. “I think it would have been great individually if you were going for yours (numbers).
“Like I said, it’s hard in the team environment, especially when you have guys, we’ve got six legit guys that could be primary options on other teams, and when you have that and you’re trying to figure it out, it’s not going to be the best. I try to stay patient and not try to get too high or too low, but obviously I get annoyed pretty quickly.”
Boston is still in position to make a run in the playoffs and could do just that, but it still has 18 games left to play in the season. The team still has some things to figure out. Irving has a lot to learn himself.
“This gets overwhelming at times,” he said. “You have high expectations. You want it all right now, and you have a particular level that I’ve been at for a long time, since I was a kid.
“I was blessed with a lot of talent to be able to share that, that would be beneficial for the group rather than thinking that I have to compete with everyone else to be the best. Now I am. It’s not that component. It’s what’s going to drive this team? What am I going to do to get the best out of my teammates? That’s the thing. That’s an evolving job every single day.”