Kyrie Irving was rather critical of the Boston Celtics after the team lost to the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Having come off a huge loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday, the Celtics were unable to catch a break against Florida's other team, losing marginally after Jayson Tatum missed a potential game-tying jumper.
Following the loss, Kyrie spoke his mind, calling his teammates out and claiming that they have no idea what it takes to win a championship in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving had a lot to say postgame but what stood out was “The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 13, 2019
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team," the point guard said, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. "What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?
“There were no expectations last year. Everyone played free and easy. Everyone surpassed whatever they expected for themselves. This year? We all have high expectations. The players, the coaches, everyone. And that’s good, but we aren’t doing it yet.”
The Celtics have lost four of their last 10 games and are fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. Irving reckons that experience is what the team is lacking but has admitted that it isn't easy to be great.
"Experience," he told NBCS Boston. "It's the best thing I can say is experience. We're lacking it, and because of that we have a lot of learning to do. So we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect. It gets tough. When it gets hard you've got to think.
"These are the things I don't think some of my teammates have faced just every single day. It's not easy to be great. So the things you're doing, that you've done your entire career of being able to coast by in certain situations...being on a championship ball club, you can't get away with that."
Kyrie’s response to first 5 questions: 49 total words.— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) January 13, 2019
Kyrie’s next response: 410 words.
"I know from the majority of the fact that we’re better than most teams in this league. It’s just going out and proving it every single night and demanding it and actually showing it." pic.twitter.com/qEmIAaSJBb
What This Means
Irving knows a few things about winning championships. He won one in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, after all. And they had to take down a 73-win Golden State Warriors side to do it.
Calling out his teammates in public, especially after what happened between Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris on Thursday night, might not have been the best way forward, however.