To the editor:
It’s time for Celtics Nation to face the truth: Our team isn’t very good and it has nothing to do with Kyrie Irving.
By all measures, this season was a failure. The C’s were easily dispatched from the NBA playoffs in five games by the Nets’ juggernaut trio of Irving, Durant and Harden. A roster with two budding All-Stars and Kemba Walker went 36-36 and needed to beat the Wizards in a play-in to even qualify for the right to play Brooklyn.
The future doesn’t look much better for the franchise. The “War Chest” of draft picks which could have been used in a blockbuster trade has left us instead with the likes of Grant Williams and Romeo Langford. Horford and Hayward are gone. With no cap space, a major free agent acquisition is unlikely. Danny Ainge has abruptly retired as general manager, and Brad Stevens has moved from the bench to the front office.
However, rather than talking about how the Celtics have dug themselves into this hole, the narrative has instead shifted to Kyrie Irving. From the sage burning on opening night to the infamous “water bottle” incident, there has been no shortage of storylines for people who are looking to scapegoat Irving for the Celtics’ recent failures.
If you’re one of the fans who buys into this notion that “Kyrie ruined the Celtics,” it’s time for a reality check.
Despite Irving’s departure two years ago, the Celtics still had a capable roster with every chance at being a good team, yet they continually came out of the gate slow and put themselves down by double digits at halftime.
Kemba Walker needed to be a reliable scorer, yet he was inconsistent when healthy. The deadline acquisition of Evan Fournier, while effective, was not nearly the move needed to put Boston in contention.
But instead, we choose to talk about Irving stomping on the logo at midcourt, his lack of commitment to the 2018 Celtics, or, God forbid, his attempt to confront racism and fan aggression in sports. This only proves that two years later, Kyrie is still inexplicably living in the heads of Celtics fans, rent-free.
My advice to the Celtics faithful is this: Let’s take ownership of our shortcomings as a franchise and fan base, and stop worrying about whatever Kyrie Irving is doing.