Kyrie Irving says missing Celtics’ playoff run ‘completely sucked’
Kyrie Irving, while happy for how his Boston Celtics teammates navigated a deep postseason run, said not being part of the playoff action due to injury “completely sucked.”
The Celtics’ prospects for postseason success were seemingly derailed when Irving went down with a knee injury in late March. While the point guard was expected to return, Irving was shelved for the season a few weeks later.
Somehow, the Celtics persevered, overcoming Irving’s injury — not to mention Gordon Hayward being lost for the season on opening night — taking the Cleveland Cavaliers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. And to watch his teammates come so tantalizingly close to reaching the NBA Finals — against his former team, no less — did not sit well with Irving.
“For me, not being able to play, it completely sucked,” Irving told The Undefeated. “Admiring these guys, awarding them for their efforts of what they accomplished is … that was the gratifying part for me. I was grateful to see that the identity that we were trying to form throughout the season was coming into full force, at the right time on the biggest stage. The young guys took the reins. They took advantage of the opportunity. I was nothing short of proud of them.
“Obviously, not being able to play, you have to put yourself aside and separate yourself emotionally from that, because it becomes tough. As an athlete, that I really, really … I don’t even know how to explain it to you … how much I enjoy being on those type of stages.”
Irving’s comments come amid his refusal to commit to the Celtics long-term, saying signing a contract extension this coming offsesaon “doesn’t make any sense.”
Irving did mention in his interview with The Undefeated that he has been “transparent” with the Celtics about his intentions heading into the season. After that, Irving said “conversations are going to be needed to have in order for us to get on the same page.”