Kyrie Irving was in the mood to make amends after the Boston Celtics suffered a frustrating road loss to the Orlando Magic on Jan. 12.
The Celtics had the ball trailing the Magic by two points with less than 10 seconds remaining. Instead of looking for Irving, Hayward decided to inbound the ball to Jayson Tatum, whose midrange jumper from the corner hit the rim and bounced out. Irving was visibly upset with Hayward in the immediate aftermath on the court, but later that night, the Celtics point guard called his teammate and apologized.
"[Kyrie] wanted to have the ball, and he wanted to have the last shot, and I felt there wasn't enough time to get that play off," Hayward told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. "Coach Stevens was saying, 'Look at Tatum. Look at Tatum.' I think by the end of Jayson's career, he's going to make a ton of shots like that.
"It didn't really bother me. Kyrie called me later that night and apologized. I knew it was in the moment."
Following a dramatic January win over the Toronto Raptors, Irving revealed that he called former teammate LeBron James to apologize for some events that transpired when they played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The call to James was made after the aforementioned loss to the Magic. So, it sounds like Irving did a lot of thinking following the turmoil in Orlando.
Overall, it's been a frustrating season for Irving, Hayward and the Celtics as a whole. However, there's still time to turn the season around and make a deep playoff run, but the improvement needs to happen ASAP, and Tuesday's showdown against the defending champion Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena is a great spot for Boston to make a statement.
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