Following a disappointing loss against the Orlando Magic, a disgruntled and defeated Kyrie Irving vented to the media, expressing his frustration and need to step up as a leader.
With the rest of the league watching their every move, the Celtics no longer have the element of surprise. The “Cinderella run” is over.
“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. 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?”
“There were no expectations last year. 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.”
“We can get there. We’ve got to be better. I’ve got to be better. We need to win these games on the road. That’s on me as a leader. I need to be a better leader and to help get us there.”
Kyrie Irving had a lot to say postgame but what stood out was “The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team. 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?”
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 13, 2019
With a 25-17 record for the season, Boston has certainly fallen short on the high expectations placed on them early in the year. Mostly, it’s been due to inconsistent play, with losses to teams like Orlando being the norm for them all season long.
If they want to string together a deep playoff run this spring, they’ll have to figure some things out. They’ll have to figure out what it really takes to become a Champion.