Kyrie Irving explains shorter than usual presser after Rockets' loss


SAN FRANCISCO -- Kyrie Irving and the Celtics had just lost at home to the Houston Rockets, their fifth loss in the past six games. 

Irving was not in much of a mood to talk, evident by his curt responses to a series of questions from the media. 

As the Celtics (38-26) prepare to play the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night, following practice at the University of San Francisco's campus this afternoon, I asked Irving about his postgame comments following the loss to the Rockets. 

“I mean, I get tired of this stuff just like everybody else,” Irving said. “It’s a constant battle. Media has just gotten outrageous.”

Irving recalled seeing a report that questioned the body of work of some of the league’s top players, including himself, ex-teammate LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant.

“Whether call it fair or unfair, no one should question what type of winner those guys are,” Irving said. “No one wants it to be solely about them, but we take most of the responsibility and so does the head coach. So, when you have that and you have relationships to build with that, being traded last year, coming into’s a lot of new for our team. And we’re still building for something. It gets to that point. It gets to that point; I’m normal.”

When asked by NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper what that does to players, Irving replied, “It makes players very unhappy." 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently discussed how he has come across more and more players unhappy in the league now. 

Reading between the lines, Irving sounds as though he wants the narrative as it relates to him and other elite players to be based more upon their performance than anything else.

“Coming to work every day and doing my job at a high level, and putting on a show for people,” Irving said. “I’m an entertainer out there, but I’m a winner first and foremost. When I used to be in my backyard playing one-on-one with my dad, that was instilled in me, that winning mentality. When he taught me how to be on a team, that’s what he taught me. 

Irving added, “It’s part of growing in this business and finding a balance between your working environment and your personal life.”

For most of his career, Irving has played for a championship-caliber team and his role within that was significant. 

But in Boston, he is front and center, every day. 

And every noun, verb and adjective he utters is sliced and diced apart, the price all the great stars of the NBA must pay at some point. 

It has become a part of Irving’s reality that, if you listen to him, he’s not all that crazy about. 

And just like we recognize how players get better and stronger over time, the same is true for players who are thrust into positions of leadership. 

“My body of work coming up to eight years is set in stone,” Irving said. “When you come into a situation where you’re heading into free agency, you have to answer every single question about the team, answer about the mood, the attitude… I got away with doing that for so many years; being angry and not being questioned about it or anything like that. It gets overwhelming at times. 

He added, “You have high expectations. You want it all right now and you have a particular level that I’ve been at since I was a kid.  I was blessed with a lot of talent, and to be able to share that, that would be beneficial to the group rather than, I have to compete with everyone to be the best. Like, nah, I am. It's not that component. It’s like what is going to drive this team? What am I gonna do to get the best out of my teammates? It’s an evolving job every single day.”

And as we know, Irving - like most of us - has some days that are better than others. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Contact Us