We often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics. Here’s a look at some enemy chatter from Cleveland.
First, Irving is risky when it comes to his drives, and can therefore be prone to injury. One member of the Cavs’ basketball side said that Irving “doesn’t leave himself an out” when sailing to the basket against larger opponents.
Most players have an idea of where they are going to land, and/or where they will land in the event a Plan B is needed (the so-called “out”). Irving is brave enough that he doesn’t really seem to care after leaving his feet.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue occasionally had to get on Irving about Irving’s need to remember that basketball should be the top priority, above his brand. Sometimes, Irving listened. Other times, he blew it off.
So this is not necessarily all about winning a championship for Irving. It’s about running his own team, about not feeling like a second fiddle, about building himself into a guy who doesn’t need James, doesn’t need anyone.
Kyrie Irving has missed 111 games over his 6 year career (one more than Avery Bradley over that span). His injury history is extensive: fractured jaw, kneecap, and nose; sprains to both shoulders; broken hand and finger; along with a concussion. There’s more, but you get the gist.
On the flip side, he’s played in 70+ games 3 out of the last 4 seasons. We can only hope that trend continues.
As for the concerns about his attitude, I’m not worried at all. When I’ve watched Kyrie in the playoffs the last few seasons, I’ve seen nothing but a fierce competitor. He’s shown me nothing that makes me think he doesn’t care about winning.
LeBron James may be a selfless teammate on the court, but I see him as a needy, passive-aggressive teammate off the court. I don’t blame Irving one bit for wanting out of the Land.
I reserve the right to change my opinion if Irving clashes with the immortal Brad Stevens.