The Boston Celtics are in the midst of a disastrous stretch and there are plenty of angles to dissect when it comes to what is wrong with Brad Stevens’ team at the moment. In the grand scheme, the Celtics are in fine shape with a 38-26 record in a relatively weak Eastern Conference but, considering preseason expectations and the pressure involved, it would be accurate to say that Boston is scuffling.
On the heels of his team’s fifth loss in six games, Kyrie Irving addressed the media on Sunday and, well, he didn’t seem particularly thrilled to be doing so.
On Monday, Irving spoke to reporters in a (much) more upbeat and genial way but, in a fashion that is familiar to anyone covering his work in recent months, the All-NBA guard still managed to make news. This time around, Irving made it known that he didn’t play basketball to “be famous” or “be a celebrity.”
Recently, Irving expressed similar sentiment in an uncut way, when he was captured saying that he wouldn’t exactly miss any of the hoopla surrounding the game.
Still, many have jumped to Irving’s recent venture in starring in Uncle Drew as evidence of non-basketball interests and, while there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, it does strike some as counter-intuitive given his framing in this case. Irving is far from the first NBA player to experience Hollywood opportunities but, in the same breath, he has also inspired controversy with his “flat Earth” takes in the past and, in general, it is probably fair to say that Irving hasn’t always avoided the spotlight.
Irving will be 27 years old later this month and, as with anyone in that age range, it is certainly conceivable that his feelings toward fame and the spotlight have evolved. If nothing else, this particular set of comments will draw a ton of attention (especially with the uber-talented point guard hitting unrestricted free agency in July) and Irving is under even brighter lights right now with the Celtics struggling.
Winning cures all in professional sports and, if Boston rights the ship, a lot of the negativity will fade. Until then, however, every word will be parsed and this sentiment from Irving isn’t playing well everywhere.