Irving's Apology "Backhanded Insult" For Celtics Teammates

Kyrie Irving apologizing to LeBron James could be interpreted in any number of ways

Reiter Than You
January 17, 2019 - 9:53 pm

After scoring 27 points and dishing out a career-high 18 assists in Boston’s 117-108 home win over Toronto on Wednesday, Kyrie Irving publicly acknowledged calling LeBron James and apologizing for his antics and immaturity in Cleveland.

This was, in a word, stunning.

“It was a fascinating development,” SI’s Chris Mannix said on Reiter Than You. “I was at the game last night, and everyone is ready to write about the Celtics getting off that three-game losing streak and beating the best team in the NBA, and all of a sudden Kyrie Irving drops that bomb and everything is about Kyrie and LeBron once again. It dominated all the talk shows all day long.”

The Celtics (26-18), currently the fifth seed in the East, have been one of the more disappointing teams in basketball. They already have as many road losses (13) this season as they had all of last year, and chemistry – or lack thereof – is a big reason why.

In fact, Mannix still isn’t sure what to make of Irving’s apology.

“On the one hand, it was a sign of maturity of Kyrie reaching out and basically (saying), ‘I was wrong,’” Mannix said. “On the other hand, you could interpret it as him basically saying, ‘LeBron had to deal with me when I was a young doofus. Maybe he can help me teach these young doofuses how to be winners.’ It seemed like almost a backhanded insult at the guys on the roster, saying they are as immature as he was back in his Cleveland days – when I don’t think they’re even remotely comparable.”

Indeed, the Cavaliers went 78-152 (.339) in Irving’s first three seasons. Last year, the Celtics – sans Irving – made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

“Kyrie didn’t win anything in Cleveland before LeBron got there,” Mannix said. “They were one of the worst teams in basketball before LeBron got there. This group of young players (on the Celtics) came within a couple of shots of getting to the NBA Finals last year. So they know, on some level, what it takes to win, and I’m not sure what Kyrie said is necessarily going to help the situation.”