Kyrie Irving looked in the mirror after repeatedly calling out his younger teammates this season, and called up LeBron James to apologize for being a hard-headed young player when the two played together in Cleveland.
Irving also picked James’ brain about what it takes to lead a young, talented group.
Kyrie said he called LeBron after loss in Orlando to ask about leading group of young guys. "It's good to reach out for help."
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) January 17, 2019
Kyrie says it’s good to “reach out for help.”
Per the Boston Herald:
“Obviously, this was a big deal for me, because I had to call (James) and tell him,” Irving said after scoring 27 points and dishing out a career-high 18 assists in the Celtics’ 117-108 win against Toronto on Wednesday night at the Garden. “I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people.
“Bron was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship. And it was hard for him, and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world. Like I said, only few are meant for it or chosen for it, and I feel like the best person to call was him because he’s been in this situation. He’s been there with me.”
Irving, as it turns out, is learning how to lead, too.
“I’ve been the young guy, being a 22-year-old kid and I want everything. I want everything right now,” Irving said. “Coming off an All-Star year starting and this heck of a presence coming back, and now I have to adjust my game to this guy. You take it personal, but at the end of the day, he wants what’s best. And he has a legacy he wants to leave, and he has a window he wants to capture. So I think what that brought me back to was like, alright, how do I get the best out of this group to the success they had last year and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship.
“And I take it on full-force. But it’s also good to reach out for help and really take responsibility for what you’ve done in your career. It takes a real man to go back, call somebody and be like, ‘Hey man, I was young. I made some mistakes, I wasn’t seeing the big picture like you were. I didn’t have the end of the season in mind. I just wanted to get my stats and make All-Star Games,’ which in his career means (very little) at that point. So it was just good. And it gave me a peace of mind to go about what I have to go do. Obviously I’m going to be competing against him the best and everybody else in the league. But it was good.”