"The young guys don't know what it takes to be a championship level team."
Kyrie Irving isn't too pleased with the "compete level" of his younger Celtics' teammates n their loss to the Orlando Magic last night. The 105-103 they suffered as a team, speaks volumes to their coalescent issues this season. A lack of unity caused by a leadership battle from within is translating in poor results on the field of play. Kyrie Irving, who's been inconsistent for much of 2018-2019, feels entitled to a prominent leadership role on this young roster, after coming away with an NBA championship earlier in his career.
Now that he's fully integrated as the face of the Celtics, Irving now faces the prospect of balancing the power that comes with great responsibility like never before. Especially last night, where Kyrie didn't mince his words as he was met with members of the press. Nor did he mitigate any of his frustration - for his younger teammates. I'll let you judge his handling of the situation. Thankfully, journalist Keith Smith annotated the important bits of information in subsequent Tweets.
Some will view Kyrie's commentary as a challenge to the younger players; others will sense a bit of narcissism in his tone. But until the Celtics figure out their locker room dynamic, and the dispersal of the leadership roles, they WILL continue to sail below expectations. It all started well before Kyrie questioned his team's "Championship Pedigree," with infighting on the bench in Thursday night's contest with the Miami Heat.
As you can see in the (above), Jaylen Brown clashed with teammate Marcus Morris after the veteran tried to offer him constructive criticism. NBA players take to criticism differently depending on their stature, and some don't at all. But something about the Celtics' team dynamic is clearly off. Hopefully, Kyrie's criticism will have sparked a Celtics' turnaround, because the NBA is a better league when the Eastern Conference holds its weight from the top down.