One month into the NBA season, the Boston Celtics, who were widely considered an Eastern Conference favorite, have a 7-6 record, tied with the Charlotte Hornets. And the team is starting to sense something’s off. After a 1-4 road trip ended with a 100-94 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Kyrie Irving had a pair of cryptic quotes for the media.
“We’re not as good as we think we are,” Irving said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
That’s a tough statement from the team’s point guard, but not nearly as bizarre as what he followed up with.
“Right now I think it would be nice if we had someone that was a 15-year vet” Irving said. “A 14-year vet that could kind of help us race along the regular season and understand it’s a long marathon rather than just a full-on sprint.”
Does Irving mean to throw shade with this quote?
Irving’s quote could mean everything or nothing — we remember the round-Earth quotes after all. But it’s extremely strange for him to request for a vet of that age for two reasons: He just left LeBron James’ team on his own will, and Al Horford, his co-star has played for 12 years. The two years off from his benchmark 14 or 15 can’t make that much of a difference.
Irving referenced Aron Baynes and Al Horford being considered vets alongside himself in the sentence leading up to his request, as if to say they weren’t old enough to fill that role. So he didn’t completely ignore them, but what’s he getting at?
In fact, there are a number of players in the Celtics’ rotation who have been in the league for a while:
What does a 14 or 15-year vet have that those guys don’t? What is Irving searching for? How will the locker room react?
There’s more questions than answers in Irving’s postgame quote.
Can the Celtics turn this ship around?
Luckily, the schedule gets a bit easier towards the end of November. Out of 10 games, four of them are against some of the league’s worst teams: the Knicks, Hawks, Bulls, and Mavericks. Hopefully at that point, head coach Brad Stevens can make the right adjustments to get this contending roster back on track.
Because the vibes surrounding this team are hinting that the wheels may come off sooner rather than later.