(NBA) The superstar PG was seeking greater fame, and a franchise to call his own. Wanting to get away from being in LeBron James’s shadow.
Irving was one of the league’s most popular, marketable point guards in the league. He’s the type of player Boston had desired and struggled to attract in free agency.
Both Irving and the Celtics should come to the same conclusion: They are better off without each other.
In Game 2, he scored just nine points the second-lowest postseason total of his career. In Game 3, as Antetokounmpo seized control of the series, Irving shot 8 for 22 and railed against the referees mere minutes after Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said the officiating was not to blame for Boston’s problems.
In Game 4, Kyrie shot 7 for 22 and tried to take on defensive responsibilities that were well beyond his limited capabilities. After leaving the TD Garden court to boos from the home crowd, he delivered the least satisfying response to questions about his struggles: “Who cares?” Finally, in a series-deciding Game 5 blowout loss, he checked out completely, going down in a blaze of hero ball shots and mental lapses.
Boston was maddeningly inconsistent and arguably the NBA’s biggest disappointment. The first hint of postseason adversity broke the Celtics, who quit on each other down the stretch of Game 4. Ball movement on offense and extra effort on defense disappeared entirely, replaced by shrugged shoulders and pointed fingers.
This postseason confirmed the assumption that Irving isn’t equipped to be the first option on a true title contender.