Kyrie Irving is learning that being a leader of a bunch of overachieving young stars is tough as hell in the NBA. It’s such a daunting task in fact that Irving had to call his former teammate LeBron James and apologize for being the same way during their time together on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Look at the growth.
The epiphany and phone call happened after a very tough loss to the Orlando Magic last Saturday Irving revealed Wednesday night. Fresh off a fantastic performance helping his Celtics who have looked shaky at times this season seal the victory against Kawhi Leonard led Toronto Raptors, the crafty PG revealed the details of the call between the two stars.
“I had to call ‘Bron and tell him I apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”
“He’s been in this situation, been there with me, where I’ve been the young guy, been the 22-year-old kid, wanting everything, wanting everything right now.”
“The responsibility of being the best player in the world and leading a team is something that’s not meant for many people. And ‘Bron was one of those guys that came to Cleveland and tried to really show us what it’s like to win a championship. And it was hard for him. Sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world. Fewer are meant for it or chosen for it. And I felt like the best person to call was him.”
Irving also pointed out that he should have kept his criticism of his young teammates “in house” after the loss to the Magic.
“I did a poor job of setting an example for these young guys what it’s like to get something out of your teammates,” he said. “Going forward, I want to test these young guys, but I can’t do it publicly. That was a learning experience for me, realizing the magnitude of my voice and what I mean to these guys.”
Maybe this will help put the Celtics who were pegged as favorites to dominate to the Eastern Conference and possibly dethrone the Warriors live up to those expectations.
Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty