Kyrie Irving: Hardwood Magician

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Its time to invoke the wisdom of Marlo Stanfield. Because Kyrie seems to want it be one way. But it, indeed, is the other way...

 

djbayko

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Kyrie's right about one thing. The wild speculation based on a video of 2 people talking is really dumb.

But he has to get used to that if he enjoys getting paid millions of dollars to play a game...in a world where the Internet exists.

One thing that’s starting to worry me, with Kyrie apparently being so sensitive, is that he’s losing interest in playing here because he blames all of this circus on Boston media. Especially coming from Cleveland.
 
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JohnnyTheBone

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I am firmly in the STFU camp. Just as Kyrie is looking back with regret at his "young" self of two years ago when he demanded a trade out of Cleveland, he'll look back at THIS Kyrie in a few years and realize, "God, what an insufferable dickhead I was". When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
 

TripleOT

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Kyrie seems to like being in the limelight for the stupid shit he's decrying. Most of this coverage that he's professing to not like is self inflicted. He could easily shut down any FA talk by reaffirming what he told season ticket holders early on - that he was re-upping with the Celtics.

When you're a movie star and NBA star with national endorsement deals, having a constant media drumbeat about you is most certainly something you want - while you vociferously claim you don't want it.
 

BigSoxFan

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It’s times like this when I really start to question Kyrie’s ability to be the alpha dog on a title team. He has the skills on the court but, man, it’s tiring as shit to listen to him whine all the time. Either ignore these questions or, better yet, just develop a sense of humor to deflect them.
 

the moops

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It seems like this is his way to stay in the spotlight though. He comes straight out and says he's staying or leaving he gets maybe a weeks worth of coverage. Him being coy and weird gets him months of coverage.
 

Pxer

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I find Kyrie increasingly annoying to root for.

Just like David Price, he is really going to need to step up this postseason.
I totally get where he's coming from. It's ridiculous how over-scrutinized even his conversations with his buddy are.
 

JCizzle

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I totally get where he's coming from. It's ridiculous how over-scrutinized even his conversations with his buddy are.
Yep. The idea that he's standing there yelling two max spots in public is beyond ridiculous.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I've been in the STFU camp for a while. The first half of that video didnt sway me.

But the second half...I mean, it was genuine. "I'm not going to discuss every weird thing people post on the internet. That's not my life. Have fun speculating."

It's frustrating, but I get it. The dude has dealt with this since day 1 of entering the league. He doesnt feel like he has to discuss every piece of bullshit that pops up anymore. I dont blame him.
 

DrewDawg

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He was explicitly discussing his empathy for Rozier's situation.
Yes, by saying that he wonders why he, "as the 26 year old approaching/in his prime", has to wait for anyone and saying he knows Rozier wants minutes as well. Because he ends that part of interview by saying "No one else will talk about that competition between us, but I will".

It's more in the way he said it, not the overall point. I mean, he goes onto discuss the Lebron call and prefaces it by saying (paraphrase) "It takes a strong person to admit they made a mistake." You don't need to call yourself a strong person my dude. It's akin to how he keeps talking about being a leader.
 

BigSoxFan

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I've been in the STFU camp for a while. The first half of that video didnt sway me.

But the second half...I mean, it was genuine. "I'm not going to discuss every weird thing people post on the internet. That's not my life. Have fun speculating."

It's frustrating, but I get it. The dude has dealt with this since day 1 of entering the league. He doesnt feel like he has to discuss every piece of bullshit that pops up anymore. I dont blame him.
I mean, we're talking about a guy who willingly joined the NBA and all that it entailed and has made $95M or so in his career. I get it's annoying to see narratives out there that you can't control but, c'mon Kyrie, it's not that bad. He's not dealing with David Price level Globe hit pieces. He's dealing with dumb speculation. Just brush it off, laugh it off, do anything other than spending 3 minutes talking about how annoyed you are with it every time you are questioned.

This story has grown because Kyrie hasn't managed it well. Maybe I'm just spoiled by guys like Brady, who managed being called a cheater by millions of people far better than Kyrie has managed some idle speculation about his FA plans.

The lesson, as always, is be like Tom Brady.
 

Ed Hillel

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I mean, we're talking about a guy who willingly joined the NBA and all that it entailed and has made $95M or so in his career.
He also staged a conversation in order to draw a bunch of attention to it, and is now railing on the media for it. I really wish we had traded him at the deadline.*

*Subject to change if he extends, AD signs a supermax, and they win championships.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't get why people are surprised and/or bothered when a 26yo guy is immature, particularly an elite guy who was identified at about 13 as a potential all world player. The young guys whose heads are screwed on straight at that age and with that background are the exceptions.

I thought that my shit didn't stink then, and that was without tens of millions in the bank and thousands lining up to carry my luggage since I was in eighth grade.
 

joe dokes

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I mean, we're talking about a guy who willingly joined the NBA and all that it entailed and has made $95M or so in his career. I get it's annoying to see narratives out there that you can't control but, c'mon Kyrie, it's not that bad. He's not dealing with David Price level Globe hit pieces. He's dealing with dumb speculation. Just brush it off, laugh it off, do anything other than spending 3 minutes talking about how annoyed you are with it every time you are questioned.

This story has grown because Kyrie hasn't managed it well. Maybe I'm just spoiled by guys like Brady, who managed being called a cheater by millions of people far better than Kyrie has managed some idle speculation about his FA plans.

The lesson, as always, is be like Tom Brady.
Brady was 39 when that happened. With age comes wisdom (most of the time).

Actually, the lesson might be "be like Price." He handled it by implicitly acknowledging the frosty nature of his "relationships" with fans and media, but not really veering into hostility (i'm talking day to day; not the Eck incident).

His Nichols interview can be interpreted a number of ways. The ESPN shouters that get the most attention will interpret it in the way that infers the most controversy. Not because its the most likely (it could be), but because that's their job.

EDIT: and what jimbodandy said above.
 

DrewDawg

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I don't get why people are surprised and/or bothered when a 26yo guy is immature,
I don't know if I'm "bothered", but if I am it's only in the sense that I wish my favorite basketball team was running smoother. It's not really a big deal, and as soon as I click on another thread here I'm over it.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't know if I'm "bothered", but if I am it's only in the sense that I wish my favorite basketball team was running smoother. It's not really a big deal, and as soon as I click on another thread here I'm over it.
Apologies if that seemed directed at you or anyone in particular. It seems to me that Boston fans as a whole expect too much from him in that regard.

No offense to 26yo in particular, but the perspective isn't there yet.

I wish that this team's identity was more clearly formed and bought in as well. If we get to the end of April with this stuff still swirling, it's likely that the run will be short this year. And that does suck.
 
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BigSoxFan

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I don't know if I'm "bothered", but if I am it's only in the sense that I wish my favorite basketball team was running smoother. It's not really a big deal, and as soon as I click on another thread here I'm over it.
Yeah, this. This is sports. This stuff doesn't "bother" me like real world stuff. But it does impact my enjoyment of watching the team I root for. I just wish Kyrie would learn from this and adjust his approach going forward. Hopefully he re-signs and that happens.
 

lars10

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Apologies if that seemed directed at you or anyone in particular. It seems to me that Boston fans as a whole expect too much from him in that regard.

No offense to 26yo in particular, but the perspective isn't there yet.

I wish that this team's identity was more clearly formed and bought in as well. If we get to the end of April with this stuff still swirling, it's likely that the run will be short this year. And that does suck.
What bothers me is that Kyrie talks ‘team’ but always makes it about himself... over the past few weeks it feels like he’s sat out more games than played in and the team played well going into the all star break.. if they had held their leads against the two LA teams we’d be looking at a nice little win streak. Kyrie needs to stfu and get on the court and play.. lead by example.
 

bankshot1

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I'm starting to get tired of all Kyrie all the time. He really should just STFU about free-agency, but he seems to love the attention.

He reminds me of that nutty hot girl friend who fucked your brains out, but she was fucking crazy and you knew that after your next date, you were going to end it.

Not to mix metaphors, if he wants to go to the Knicks, and play "Moses" and lead that gawd forsaken desert wandering franchise out of the desert, then so be it.

The worst part would be losing a hugely talented guy for nada, and feeling played, and dealing with a-hole Knick fans

And ending the AD pipedream.
 

DrewDawg

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So, people are resigned to the idea that if Kyrie opts out we don't trade for AD? Or that he will never sign here if we do?
 

bankshot1

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I'm not sure my I could rationally deal with losing KI and then Tatum while watching AD trot off to the MF Lakers after 1 season in Boston.

The risk/reward of trading the family jewels starts to tilt too much to risk.
 

joe dokes

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Not to mix metaphors, if he wants to go to the Knicks, and play "Moses" and lead that gawd forsaken desert wandering franchise out of the desert, then so be it.

The worst part would be losing a hugely talented guy for nada, and feeling played, and dealing with a-hole Knick fans
The Knicks will go nowhere as long as Dolan is in charge. I think teams and players know that and simply use NY an ever-present stalking horse for contract and trade demands. "Go to NY....and end up like Carmelo."
 

bankshot1

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The Knicks will go nowhere as long as Dolan is in charge. I think teams and players know that and simply use NY an ever-present stalking horse for contract and trade demands. "Go to NY....and end up like Carmelo."
or Porzingis.

At some point they'll get it right or lucky. But if KI really wants to go home, maybe he sees a viable path with KD and Zion and a few other pieces...
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yes, by saying that he wonders why he, "as the 26 year old approaching/in his prime", has to wait for anyone and saying he knows Rozier wants minutes as well. Because he ends that part of interview by saying "No one else will talk about that competition between us, but I will".

It's more in the way he said it, not the overall point. I mean, he goes onto discuss the Lebron call and prefaces it by saying (paraphrase) "It takes a strong person to admit they made a mistake." You don't need to call yourself a strong person my dude. It's akin to how he keeps talking about being a leader.
I couldn't find a transcript but here is what I am hearing. One of the key words or phrases is muddled (maybe someone can hear it better than I can) but here's what he said. I'm not sure there is any benefit trying to parse it out because it seems like he switched thoughts in the interim.

RN: Your teammate Marcus Morris did say that it hasn't been fun, that it hasn't been fun even when you were winning a lot. Have you felt that?

KI: It's been a trying year for us, you know, because we basically have a bunch of young men in our locker room that feel like they're capable of doing a lot more than what they are doing and that's okay. But there's a maturity that you have to have as a professional {unintelligible word} that you have to really showcase every single day and that's what the great ones do. You know, I . . . I {unintelligible word or two} initially didn't play the minutes I wanted to play - I'm 26 years old, heading into my prime, why do I have to wait for anybody? You know, Terry Rozier, you know, he played in the playoffs, he did extremely well, coming back, that's a natural competition that me and him have, like, it's just it is what it is, like no one wants to say it but I will. It's part of their growth. When you have winning on your mind, and you know, you just, you got to understand it, you got to do what it takes, but you got to understand it {each night}.​
 

Captaincoop

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I can't muster a lot of sympathy for Kyrie when all he needs to do is say "I'm 100% focused on winning a championship this season, everything else is on my back burner." That's it. Then shut up.

Instead, he keeps talking to the media about his impending free agency, but doing so in a way guaranteed to fan the flames of rumor and innuendo, and then complaining that the rumor and innuendo is still getting mileage.

Yes, he's 26. It's still annoying to hear.
 

Kliq

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Imagine the moodiness of a Kyrie and Durant combination, dealing with the NY media?
 

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Yes, by saying that he wonders why he, "as the 26 year old approaching/in his prime", has to wait for anyone and saying he knows Rozier wants minutes as well. Because he ends that part of interview by saying "No one else will talk about that competition between us, but I will".

It's more in the way he said it, not the overall point. I mean, he goes onto discuss the Lebron call and prefaces it by saying (paraphrase) "It takes a strong person to admit they made a mistake." You don't need to call yourself a strong person my dude. It's akin to how he keeps talking about being a leader.
 

lars10

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So, people are resigned to the idea that if Kyrie opts out we don't trade for AD? Or that he will never sign here if we do?
You need more than one superstar to win a championship.. Davis by himself isn't enough.
 

ugmo33

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I can't muster a lot of sympathy for Kyrie when all he needs to do is say "I'm 100% focused on winning a championship this season, everything else is on my back burner." That's it. Then shut up.

Instead, he keeps talking to the media about his impending free agency, but doing so in a way guaranteed to fan the flames of rumor and innuendo, and then complaining that the rumor and innuendo is still getting mileage.
This is totally right and is what I find so annoying. His responses about the nature of modern media, his constant talk about being a leader, and even his whole flat earth thing all seem like kind of the same thing. It's like Kyrie is convinced he's more intelligent and more conscious than everyone, like someone who has been told they are really intelligent their whole lives, but he doesn't back it up. He thinks that being controversial is a way to show people how much smarter he is...but he ends up coming across as extremely annoying. I can only imagine that schtick would be even more annoying in the locker room and huddles, etc...
 

Reverend

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Brady was 39 when that happened. With age comes wisdom (most of the time).
I think this is a great point.

The outrage over assaults on the purity of the game with the whole steroids issue in baseball and the rush to sweep it under the rug drowned out what could and should have been a really interesting discussion about how people learn the game.

The huge advantage that some of those guys had wasn't superhuman strength, rather it was that some guys could still play once they really learned to hit. So the big advantage wasn't the strength so much as the extra experience they amassed over time. Like, before, once people finally learned to hit they were too old to play anymore. PEDs let us see what happens when a guy who knows what he's doing can still physically play.

The nexus of leadership flowing to people with physical ability in sports is actually kind of bizarre, when you think about it. It's also why LeBron's career and its various stages is so fascinating to me.

Kyrie is a leader... why? Because he can break ankles with his crossover drouble? Does that really scan?

It seems like he knows that, so he's trying to offer up some sort of super-woke-ness rationale for why he should be a leader. Which is sorta annoying. But really, it's kinda weird that he should be expected to be a leader in the first place.

Solution: The Celtics need to sign Matthew Slater. And maybe Jerod Mayo too, just for good measure.
 

Red Averages

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They have Matthew Slater, his name is Al Horford. They need Morris to become Tedy Bruschi, but he's more Rodney Harrison. And Brad Stevens is not BB, despite being a great coach.
 

DrewDawg

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You need more than one superstar to win a championship.. Davis by himself isn't enough.
Absolutely. I would surmise that if Irving leaves and Ainge still wants AD then if Tatum goes we're keeping the Memphis pick or vice versa--give us a chance to get that second star.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Imagine the moodiness of a Kyrie and Durant combination, dealing with the NY media?
Several posters here believe that the NY media's influence and ability to spark controversy is severely diminished in the age of social media.

I don't agree but setting that aside, given what we know about Irving and Durant, its entirely possible that they think that the media/fan focus won't be any more intense than what they have already experienced. In addition, they may well believe that their collective talent will overcome any issues/limitations created by playing for Dolan.

If the rumors about Durant's agent becoming the Knicks next GM are even a possibility, I can see how these two might strongly believe that NY is their best option all the way around.

In short, we know nothing but at this point, its not crazy to think he may well be gone after the season is over.
 

nighthob

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At some point they'll get it right or lucky. But if KI really wants to go home, maybe he sees a viable path with KD and Zion and a few other pieces...
If the Knicks win the lottery their plan won’t be Durant/Irving/Zion, it’s Durant/Irving/Davis. They’ll empty the cupboard of 2020 salaries (Knox, DSJ, and Ntilikina) to create room for the three max deals and fill in around them with ring chasers.
 

djbayko

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He also staged a conversation in order to draw a bunch of attention to it, and is now railing on the media for it. I really wish we had traded him at the deadline.*

*Subject to change if he extends, AD signs a supermax, and they win championships.
I already said yesterday that I don’t think Kyrie is handling the speculation well, but “staged”, really? He can’t just have a conversation with someone because he wants to?
 

lars10

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Absolutely. I would surmise that if Irving leaves and Ainge still wants AD then if Tatum goes we're keeping the Memphis pick or vice versa--give us a chance to get that second star.
I think you need established stars.. if you're drafting then it's at least three or four years until that player gets respect of the refs... I'm sure AD wouldn't be on his own, but I really do worry about his injury history if you're counting on him being the main guy.. and that pesky needing to re-sign him.
 

TripleOT

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Kyrie comes up small in a big game at Milwaukee. Failed on making a game winner in a one point loss. Only 22 points on 27 shots, including a horrible 5-16 in the lane. 27 shots, zero free throws.
 

lexrageorge

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He brought the team back in the 4th quarter with some clutch threes and drives. The final shot was defended really well by the Bucks. They lost by one on the road to the best team in the east. Hardly coming up small.
 

joe dokes

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Kyrie comes up small in a big game at Milwaukee. Failed on making a game winner in a one point loss. Only 22 points on 27 shots, including a horrible 5-16 in the lane. 27 shots, zero free throws.
Yeah.
Imagine how useless he'd be if, say, he had the ball in his hands in the waning seconds of Game 7 in the Finals.
 

BaseballJones

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Kyrie made a few big shots in the fourth quarter, which shouldn't be diminished. But he was pretty awful for most of the game, which was a huge reason they needed Kyrie's few big shots in the fourth quarter in the first place. If he plays "normal" (49.3% instead of 33.3%), the Celtics win fairly comfortably last night.

I'm not blaming everything on Kyrie. I'm just agreeing with the notion that he had a poor game last night and against the great teams, if he's on the floor, they probably can't afford for him to play like that.

Of course, if any of Morris, Rozier, or Smart had shot halfway decently, they'd have won anyway. Combined they were 8-28 (.286). Blech.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Any guy will have the occasional poor shooting night, though.

Brian Robb had an interesting analysis of the last minute at Boston Sports Journal. He focused on a couple of things:
  • Middleton open 3. Giannis was initially covered by Horford, but Morris switched onto him after a Lopez screen. Lopez went to the corner, but Horford opted to stay near the paint to provide help on Giannis. Giannis bobbles the ball (in part because of Horford's help) and bails himself out with a pass to Lopez. Morris is in no position to close out Lopez, so Tatum rotates off of his man (Brogdon) on the perimeter. The right read for Morris would be to close out Brogdon, but instead of reacting to Tatum leaving his man, he doesn't get going until Lopez has already made the pass to Brogdon. This left Smart, covering Middleton, with the choice between letting Brogdon (40% from three) have the open shot or leaving Middleton (37% from three), which he did, and got burned.
  • On the final possession, Stevens had Kyrie screen for Morris, who was the first option. Morris would have been wide open for a layup but for getting mugged as he came off Kyrie's screen, but the fucking zebras swallowed their whistles. Kyrie was option #2, missed the shot, but didn't have time for anything else. Horford was open from three but may nor have had enough time to get the shot off. (Morris blew his stack after the game ended, which is understandable givin that he would have had a wide open layup but for the obvious foul.)
 

rymflaherty

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I already said yesterday that I don’t think Kyrie is handling the speculation well, but “staged”, really? He can’t just have a conversation with someone because he wants to?
As a neutral observer in this, i’m starting to agree with the “staged” comment. It’s starting to look like something out of the Lebron playbook, with Irving perpetuating conflict to help create justification for his impending departure.
 

Ed Hillel

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I already said yesterday that I don’t think Kyrie is handling the speculation well, but “staged”, really? He can’t just have a conversation with someone because he wants to?
They knew the camera was there, and in exaggerated manner said “two max contracts!” so people would see it and connect them to the Knicks. Most likely they were joking to make a point about/mock media coverage, but when you do that and intentionally rile up the media, you can’t get mad when they ask questions.

I understand his frustration with NBA culture and the media, and I’ve shared the same - there’s less drama on the court than off during any part of the damned season. But Kyrie is making a bad situation worse for himself then complaining/lashing out at people doing their job about it.