Um… OK. Chris Broussard has made a living coming up with hot takes about basketball and the NBA. He is sort of like a Skip Bayless, saying whatever comes to mind whenever it comes. Skip is a troll, though. He doesn’t believe half the things he says. I legitimately believe that Broussard is so full of himself, that he truly believes his disastrous sports takes.
“I’ve been thinking about the success of the Celtics without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, ” Broussard said, “and I’ve thought to myself: If I’m Kyrie Irving and I’m sitting there watching this go on, obviously you’re going to say you’re happy for your teammates and I’m sure on a certain level you are happy that the team is winning. But I’m just wondering, how are you feeling? You want to be needed. If you’re a star especially, you want to be apart of why you’re winning. And for this young team to be winning the way they are without Kyrie, I’m just wondering how you feeling?
If your head is spinning as fast as mine is, I don’t blame you. Everyone knows that the NBA is a superstars league, there is literally no debate on that front. The Celtics currently have 2 legitimate superstars on their roster in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but both are injured and out for the remainder of the season. The way this team is currently constructed, I would be extremely hard pressed to say that the Celtics have a chance of beating Golden State in the finals (still have to beat Cleveland, but bear with me) because of the lack of superstar talent.
Say what you will about Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and even Scary Terry. The 4 of them have been phenomenal this postseason, and should leave fans very excited for what this team will be capable of for years to come. All that being said, as previously noted, this is a superstars league. The last team to win a championship without a TRUE superstar was the 2004 Pistons, and even they had Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace. It just does not really happen anymore.
Earlier in the regular season, while the Celtics were winning night in and night out… Kyrie Irving was an instrumental part of that team. Without Kyrie Irving, I do not believe this team finishes as the 2 seed. Which leads me to this, without Brad Stevens, this team does not make it out of the first round, let alone make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Stevens is a fantastic coach, arguably the best in the NBA. His after time out plays are always spot on, and he always seems to be able to make the necessary adjustments to put his team in the best position to win the game. Stevens has gotten a tremendous amount of praise this postseason, as he should.
“It’s silly,” said Stevens. “The praise is uncomfortable, and it’s just something that these guys should be getting it all. We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can.”
As Stevens says here, the praise is “silly.” I would not go as far to say that, because as I previously mentioned, the Celtics are not here without him. But a great coach can only get you so far without the proper star power. The coach needs his players, and he needs his best players to reach the pinnacle of success.
Do you remember when the Celtics were on their 16 game winning streak? While Kyrie Irving was playing like a mad man? Guess who was getting all the praise at that point? You guessed it, Kyrie Irving (deservingly so, I might add.) Before Kyrie went down with his knee injury, he was an MVP candidate in most peoples eyes. It was KYRIE’S team. The same way the Rocket’s are James Harden’s team, and the Cavaliers is Lebron James’. There is a reason that before Kyrie went down, loads of people were choosing the Celtics to make it out of the east. Do you know why? Because Kyrie Irving was playing at the time, ya know, that superstar guy.
Which leads me back to this, Chris Broussard should consider re-evaluating his take. I can’t speak for Kyrie Irving, but I would find it utterly preposterous if he were at all annoyed with the praise Brad Stevens is getting. He knows as well as we all do, that this is a superstars league and the Celtics need him in order for them to reach their full potential. He knows that this team likely will not win the finals without him. He knows that when he comes back next season alongside Gordon Hayward, they will likely be the heavy favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. You know what else he knows? He knows that with a combination of his skill, and Brad’s mind… the sky is the limit.