Kyrie Irving isn't shy and he isn't boring that's for sure. And his description for Boston Celtics fans who boo him and have words for him during games, won't do much to improve the “relationship” he has with his former fan base. The Brooklyn Nets visited Irving's former team on Sunday afternoon. But it was actually Jayson Tatum who stole the show.
Irving's former teammate, Tatum, actually had a 50 point game in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs vs. Brooklyn last season. He dropped a season-high 54 points on the Nets Sunday in a 126-120 Celtics win. Brooklyn missed Ben Simmons, (back flare up) who might have taken that match up.
Now at 32-33, the Nets are tied with the Charlotte Hornets for the 8th seed.
Kevin Durant was masterful. In just his second game back after missing 21 straight contests with a sprained knee, KD finished with 37 points, eight assists, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal. He shot 12 of 21 including four of nine from deep, and nine of 10 from the stripe. The Celtics pressured him with traps and blitzes and he wound up with an uncharacteristic 7 turnovers which will plague a perfectionist like KD, but he was brilliant nonetheless. He just needed more help.
Irving, Durant's lone All-Star running mate on the floor was solid but not spectacular. Irving had 19 points, six dimes, three steals and shot 8 of 18. But he wasn't a major factor in this game. And he certainly heard it from the green-clad fans in a hostile environment.
It was a far cry from his 38-point explosion back on February 26th when he helped beat the Milwaukee Bucks. Whether or not the eight days between road games made it difficult for him to maintain a rhythm is a fair question. There is certainly added pressure on Irving to be excellent in the few games he can play in.
But after the game, Kyrie had some comments for the relationship between himself and his former fanbase that may not sit too well with the Boston brigade.
“It's like the scorned girlfriend,” Irving said, “just wants an explanation on why I left but still hoping for a text back and I'm just like yeah, it's fun while it lasted.”
"It's like the scorned girlfriend just wants an explanation on why I left but still hoping for a text back and I'm just like yeah it's fun while it lasted."
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) March 6, 2022
Ouch. Irving left money on the table, a five-year max to be specific, in order to team up with Durant, who cracked the 25,000 point threshold today. He's the fastest player to ever pass that milestone.
“Just didn't win, and I know that sucks cause we just under .500 but can't complain, worry, and be concerned that's not gonna do nothing for us. We just gotta put our heads down and go to work,” Durant said after the game.
Irving spent two full seasons in Bean Town. But he seems to have made a home for himself with the Nets now. And it doesn't sound like he has much more of an explanation that ex of his. Comments like these won't do much to tamp down a possible rivalry if these squads met in the playoffs for consecutive seasons. They'll have to continue to wait on that text back.