Kyrie Irving ripped the Raptors’ still-beating hearts from their chests on Wednesday night. Toronto executed a comeback over the course of the second half and took a 2-point lead with a little over six minutes left. Boston outscored Toronto 25-12 from there with Irving scoring or assisting on every remaining Celtics bucket. Irving finished with 27 points and 18 assists, and the sort of win that can get a confused team on the right path.
Then Kyrie got real evil.
Unprompted in the postgame scrum, Kyrie revealed that he had called old teammate LeBron James recently to talk about leadership and to -- get this -- apologize for ... well, let’s let him tell it.
“I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be all that and the responsibility of being the best in the world, and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people. Bron was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship.”
Kyrie then tied it back to his nascent beef with the Celtics’ young players, with Irving acknowledging that calling out teammates isn’t the best way to solve things but essentially declaring that LeBron Was Right and These Young Dudes Need to Get in Line If They Want Me to Carry Them to a Title. The comments coming directly after Kyrie literally carried the Celtics to a marquee win is a fact lost on no one.
Kyrie resented LeBron’s form of leadership and all-enveloping shadow when trapped in it even though he won a title and personal accolades. He’s using that experience not to be different than LeBron as a leader, though. He’s using the fact that LeBron carried him to a title to treat his younger teammates the same way he hated being treated! And he’s not hiding this gambit: he’s spelling it out explicitly in media comments, unprompted.
Kyrie is different, y’all.
Magic 115, Pistons 120 (OT)
Raptors 108, Celtics 117
Nets 145, Rockets 142 (OT)
Bucks 111, Grizzlies 101
Spurs 105, Mavericks 101
Cavaliers 112, Blazers 129
Pelicans 140, Warriors 147
Jazz 129, Clippers 109
All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise indicated.
Knicks vs. Wizards IN LONDON, 3, NBA TV
Kings at Hornets, 7
Sixers at Pacers, 7, TNT
Suns at Raptors, 7:30
Bulls at Nuggets, 9
Lakers at Thunder, 9:30, TNT
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