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Celtics’ Kyrie Irving takes Tommy Heinsohn’s out-of-shape comment in stride

kyrie irving, tommy heinsohn

Like a true competitor, Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics turned Tommy Heinsohn’s negative comments about his conditioning into fuel to ignite a fire.

Heinsohn, a former Celtic himself and now the NBC Sports Boston color commentator, shared his thoughts after the team’s win in New York on October 20. For him, Irving is slower than usual and maybe a little overweight.

“Personally, I think he’s a little out of shape. To me, it looks like he’s a little overweight, and to me — his timing, his quickness — he’s maybe an instant slower than he’s been.”

And in their recent win against the Detroit Pistons where Irving looked like his old self, Kyrie recalled Heinsohn’s comments, noting that he took it as a challenge to be in better shape in both mind and body. Per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston:

“It’s always great when someone challenges you like that. Especially with the respect level that I have for past Celtics legends,” said Irving. “And for him to really kinda pinpoint as me being one of the leaders on this team, the main [focal] point of this team, I had to be in better shape as well as challenge myself on both ends of the floor. I think he made it very clear to me.”

In their 108-105 win, Irving scored a season-high 31 points, five assists, and five rebounds. He shot 10-of-16 from the field. His performance is a welcome sign after an erratic start to the season. Celtics fans may now sit comfortably on their chairs as Uncle Drew is back. And all this may be due to Heinsohn.