The Boston Celtics have been one of the most impressive teams in the NBA this season. They are currently second in the Eastern Conference standings with a 12-4 record. And ahead of their much-anticipated matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, Celtics guard Marcus Smart can’t help but reflect on everything that happened last season, particularly with former teammate Kyrie Irving.
Irving’s departure from the Celtics has been marred by drama and controversy, and one of the main reasons why the All-Star guard chose to leave Boston was the fact that he wasn’t getting along with the younger guys on the team. Smart said that they found it really hard to interact with Kyrie because most of the time, they had no idea what’s going on with him, per The Athletic’s Jay King.
“It’s not that we didn’t know how to act (around him),” Smart said. “It’s that we didn’t know how he was going to act. We didn’t know what his moods were and we didn’t know what Kyrie was going through. And that made it tough on us because if somebody’s going through something in their life and you don’t really know what it is, it’s kind of hard to see what’s wrong with him, it’s kind of hard to (provide) some help. It’s not against Kyrie, it’s just a defense mechanism as a human being you have. And he wasn’t here long enough to really be able to open up the way he probably wanted to, and it probably got to him a little bit.”
There were times when Irving heavily criticized his teammates last season, especially when they lose games. There was even a point when he said that his teammates don’t know how to play championship-level basketball. And as the season wore on, the rift between Kyrie and the rest of the Celtics continued to grow to the point where no one can do anything to repair it.
Irving won’t be suiting up for the Nets on Wednesday as he’s still nursing a sore shoulder that has caused him to miss the past six games.
But both sides have moved on, and once Irving finally plays against his former team, it will just be another regular season game.