Celtics veteran point guard Kyrie Irving was critical of the team’s young players after Saturday’s 105-103 loss to the Magic, and he did not hold back one bit.
Irving was seen confronting teammate Gordon Hayward over the Celtics forward’s decision on an inbounds play in the game’s final seconds. Hayward elected to throw the ball to Jayson Tatum in the corner, which resulted in a contested fadeaway jumper that clanged off the rim at the buzzer. Irving appeared to feel that the ball should’ve gone elsewhere, rather than in the corner, which limited the Celtics’ options on the final play.
That wasn’t all Irving had to say, either. He shared some words about the team’s young players in speaking to reporters after the game.
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team,” Irving said, via Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. “What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we’re trying to get to the Finals?”
Irving then went on to say that the team exceeded expectations last year, but that they set the bar high this season, and have yet to play up to those standards.
“There were no expectations last year,” he said. “Everyone played free and easy. Everyone surpassed whatever they expected for themselves. This year? We all have high expectations. The players, the coaches, everyone. And that’s good, but we aren’t doing it yet.”
The Celtics have now lost two consecutive games, and it will be interesting to see if they can get back in the win column against the Nets on Monday night.