BOSTON – There are certain truths when it comes to the Boston Celtics: the banners will always hang prominently on the garden rafters, the adversary will always see green, and the Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn will always stand for the virtues of Boston Keltics are interested in hometown team.
Well, wait a minute.
Heinsohn, the team's television analyst affectionately known in Boston as a stalwart homer, retired from this usual stance on October 20 when he questioned the conditioning of point guard and franchisee Kyrie Irving. Then, after a victory on Saturday against the Pistons in Detroit, Heinsohn doubled, declaring, "[Irving] looks like he's five pounds overweight, but I did not see him on a scale."
Irving responded on Tuesday night with his most electric performances of the young season. In a home win against the Pistons, he scored a season high of 31
Kyrie Irving takes over the Pistons himself and emptied three 3-hands from more than 25 feet in the third quarter.
Then, in a brief interview with NBC Sports Boston reporter Abby Chin, Irving said, "I want to scream my husband, Tommy Heinsohn."
Then he turned abruptly and stepped away from the stalls. Was he sarcastic? Multifaceted? Really grateful? Who could be sure? Is the world round or not?
Irving was far more expansive in a postgame locker room interview, in which he admitted that Heinsohn was right: he needed to be in better shape.
"I probably got wind from [his comments] like a week ago and it bothered me because it was the most honest thing anyone had said about my playing style," said Irving. "I literally had to try to reach a level I had played last year, but it also got better, and as you do so, I really had to emphasize my body and watch how I took care of my mind." [Heinsohn’s comment] was one of the most real things I could have heard: As a competitor, it does not itch inside you that you want to be better, especially from a man like Tommy Heinsohn, who can not go wrong eyes, if you're a Celtic. .. I appreciate that.
"It was the truth, I had to get into a better shape, I had to devote myself to what I did, I was cycling the next morning, and I did everything I could to prepare my body."
Irving has performed back-to-back knee surgery that prematurely ended his opening season in Boston. In the first six games he shot 24.1 percent from the bow – a total of 39 percent – and seemed to urge. Coach Brad Stevens warned in the preseason that both Irving and Gordon Hayward, who sustained a serious injury, needed time to regain their footing.
Following a knee injury in Boston the first year, Kyrie Irving broke her ankles again. Here we found out why he might have the best handles in the NBA.
But Irving He explained that part of the fight defined his role in a talent-charged team that he said in the preseason that he could beat Golden State in a series of seven games. His task was "to create the start of a season".
"You are not trying to exert too much pressure on yourself," said Irving. "I think my focus was not so much on myself, but how do I become a better leader for this team and for the other leaders we have? If that meant sacrificing one or two games to the basketball really to move on and get those guys going, so be it. "
Irving said even though he did not shoot the ball very well, the opponents still guarded him as if he were the guy to hit the biggest punch in Cleveland basketball history met to win the 2016 NBA championship.
"Some of the films I watched, some of the shots I did not make or even the defense collapsed, were still there," he said. "The respect was still there, it was not like someone was going under my screens or anything like that."
Although Irving is a five-time All-Star, he spent his last three seasons in Cleveland in the frightening shadow of LeBron James. Now that he's the lead dog in this Celtics team, he wants to make sure he gets it right.
"[That means] will not be one-sided," he said. "Not trying to be too much playmaker or too much shooter, just finding the happy balance of how to fit into such a unique and special team is not an easy task for anyone."
And yet, Irving made it look easy in the final minutes of the third quarter as he drilled a 3 from the top of the circle, then came down and nailed a 26-foot footer from the right side of the floor and then a 30-foot. Foot Fugue added over the outstretched arms of Blake Griffin to frenzy the partisan masses (and presumably Heinsohn). He surpassed Detroit 12-5 on his own to close the third quarter. Boston took a 10-point lead and reaped renewed vocals from MVP.
He made such sporty, freshly-cut curls, which he later unveiled, are nowhere near as maintenance-intensive as the beloved Afro he wore in the first few weeks of this season.
"It was just time," he said. It was a great Afro, I'm glad I did it, it's time to get back to what I'm used to. "
Kyrie Irving talks about how he cut his hair and wanted to say he was not and he did not like keeping it up.
That sounds good to his coach when asked about Irving's breakout performance. "
It sounds good for his teammates, especially for Aron Baynes, who understands that when Irving shots" he becomes a defense target, five [pairs of] him every time he has the ball, "which means someone else is open.
You can be sure that it sounds good to Heinsohn too, perhaps winning a pound of Irving meat, but now that he knows he's bleeding Celtic green, order has been restored.