Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving put on a show on Thursday against his former team, the Boston Celtics. The All-Star tied his season-high of 40 points to lead the Nets to a 121-109 victory over the Celtics.
During his postgame media session with NBA reporters, Kyrie Irving not only talked about the Nets’ win, but he also fired back at his haters.
James Harden on Kyrie Irving: ‘He’s a different breed’
The Nets have won 11 of their past 12 games. James Harden and Kyrie Irving are both putting up stellar numbers in Kevin Durant’s absence.
Against the Celtics, Harden finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. After the win, the former NBA MVP had nothing but praise for Irving.
“He’s a different breed,” Harden said of Irving, via ESPN. “He has that killer mentality in a sense of, no matter who we play or where we’re playing, he is going to go out there and try to destroy the opponent, and that’s something that you’d want on your team at all times. That mentality is what sets him apart from a lot of guys in this league.”
Irving shot 15-of-23 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc against the Celtics. He’s averaging 27.7 points and 5.9 assists per game on the season, firmly establishing himself as the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
Everyone knows how talented Irving is, so no one was surprised to see him score 40 points versus Boston. However, some of Irving’s critics–who are Celtics fans and writers–were a little shocked to see Uncle Drew hug his former Boston teammates.
When that topic was brought up during his postgame press conference, Kyrie Irving went off.
Kyrie Irving on hugging former Celtics teammates: ‘Big surprise, huh?’
Kyrie Irving played two seasons on the Celtics. Although the team made the playoffs both years, Irving’s leadership skills were questioned since the club was dysfunctional and didn’t meet expectations.
Celtics fans hate Irving since he told them he would re-sign with Boston in 2019, only to go back on his word and join the Nets instead. The media in Boston isn’t fond of Irving either since he had several polarizing quotes and moments.
However, it’s clear that the Celtics’ players still have a lot of love for Irving. The one-time NBA champion hugged his former teammates before walking off the floor and called out his critics while speaking to reporters.
“Big surprise, huh? To a lot of people,” Irving said. “All that sh*t talking about me and all the relationships I have with every teammate of mine. I’m glad we get to see it every single game that I got some great people out here.”
The Celtics reporters will likely continue to write hit pieces on Kyrie Irving since the former Rookie of the Year’s two seasons in Boston were chaotic. However, as long as his former teammates don’t have an issue with him, Irving is content.
The Nets have so much talent
The Nets have so much talent on offense. They have three superstars in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving and a former All-Star in Blake Griffin, who will likely be rejuvenated in Brooklyn.
After agreeing to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, Griffin signed with the Nets. The former LA Clippers star will likely come off the bench for Brooklyn and lead the second unit.
With Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin leading the way, the Nets could win the championship this season.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.