Kyrie Irving says it has a been a “trying year” in Boston.
Irving points out, for instance, that his younger teammates feel somewhat held back in head coach Brad Stevens‘ system.
The Celtics (37-21) have fallen well short of expectations so far this season.
Per The Boston Globe (via ESPN):
During the NBA All-Star break, Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving openly acknowledged the current season has been “a trying year” for the team.
“We basically have a bunch of young men in our locker room that feel like they’re capable of doing a lot more than they’re doing,” Irving told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
“That’s OK, but there’s a maturity you have to have, there’s a professionalism you have to really showcase every single day. That’s what the great ones do.”
Irving also recognized that the situation can create tension between him and [Terry] Rozier, who stepped up as starting point guard throughout Boston’s playoff run when Irving was sidelined due to a season-ending knee injury.
“Terry Rozier, he played in the playoffs, he did extremely well,” Irving said. “Coming back, that’s a natural competition that me and him have. It is what it is. No one wants to say it, but I will. It’s part of their growth. When you have winning in mind, then you got to do what it takes, but you got to understand your teammates.”