This Kyrie story demonstrates ‘clear conflict in leadership' the Celtics faced last year


It's no secret that the Boston Celtics struggled to develop chemistry last season. The team just never seemed to gel particularly well and they failed to live up to expectations as a result, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs.

Though conflict came from quite a few different areas, Jared Weiss of The Athletic has pointed to Kyrie Irving as being a big part of the problem. He outlined a story about Irving not paying particular respect to certain leadership in a recent piece.

There was a clear conflict in leadership with the Celtics last season, particularly with how the big star fits with the other emerging players. Kyrie Irving was not meshing with the team and the coaching staff, and it showed on and off the court.

There was one telling instance when Irving boarded a hotel elevator that was empty except for one of his assistant coaches. Irving kept on his headphones and ignored the coach the entire elevator ride after seeing who it was, according to sources familiar with the non-interaction. While it’s just a small example, it reflects the unfortunate dilemma that some players only truly respect coaches with a resume to match theirs.

This continues to feed into the idea that Irving just became fed up with the coaching staff and team last season. Whatever the reason for his issues, completely ignoring a coach isn't a good thing, and that certainly could have led to some of the locker room friction.

This isn't the only recent negative story to come out about Irving. He also apparently refused to sign some balls intended for the Celtics charitable partners at the end of the 2019 regular season.

It doesn't seem like the Celtics will need to worry about Irving being a problem much longer. It seems highly likely that he will leave the team in free agency with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers being the top potential landing spots.

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