Celtics’ Kyrie Irving opens up about improved relationship with Brad Stevens
After their win over the Miami Heat, Irving talked to reporters about his relationship with Stevens and how it has grown over the past two years.
“Our relationship has grown tremendously just in terms of our communication, what he likes and what I like, but ultimately what’s best for our team and how to get the most out of guys,” Irving said, per Tom Westerholm of MassLive.
“So it’s made my job a lot easier going to the sideline knowing we’re on the same page. It makes it easier to just go out there and play free and really do my job of leading this team.”
Kyrie Irving’s latest statements are a far cry from his sentiments toward Brad Stevens on March 24. On that day, the Celtics All-Star guard was unhappy with Stevens after Boston blew an 18-point lead in a 124-117 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
A player-coach relationship can blow hot and cold during an intense NBA season, and based on what Irving said on Wednesday, it seems their long-term relationship took a turn for the better.
The 2018-19 NBA season is Stevens’ second as Irving’s head coach. They need to have a solid rapport if the Celtics are going to make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are currently tied with the Indiana Pacers with a 47-32 (.595) win-loss record.
However, Boston owns the tie-breaker so they occupy the East’s fourth seed. If the current seedings stand until the regular season ends, Boston will host Indiana in the best-of-seven first round playoff matchup.
The 27-year-old Irving, a six-time NBA All-Star, has been averaging 24.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 64 appearances for the Celtics this season.