Kyrie Irving never got over Celtics winning without him last season, source tells Lou Merloni

Alex Reimer
May 09, 2019 - 10:48 am

The Celtics’ surprise trip to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year seemed to set the table for a championship run this year. But it may have done them in. 

According to WEEI’s Lou Merloni, Kyrie Irving never got over the success his younger teammates enjoyed without him. It led to a season full of discord, which appropriately culminated in a blowout 116-91 loss to the Bucks in Game 5 of the semifinals Wednesday. Boston dropped its final four playoff contests, in which Irving went 25-of-83 from the floor.

It seemed like Irving was intent on putting his mark on the games, regardless of how poorly he was shooting. 

“I was told a lot tonight from a very good source,” Merloni tweeted early Thursday. “‘Going to (Eastern Conference Finals) without him was a huge hit to Kyrie’s ego. He never got over it and the reason why he was so enigmatic this year. That was the beginning of the end.’”

Terry Rozier acknowledged the Celtics’ apparent deep-seated issues following the game, saying they ran around “with their heads cut off” and bemoaning everything Brad Stevens was forced to deal with. On paper, the Celtics got a lot better with the additions of Irving and Gordon Hayward. But in the words of longtime play-by-play man Mike Gorman, they often played like guys who had just met each other on the bus. 

And now, following a disastrous campaign, it looks like many of them will soon be riding separate busses in separate cities. 

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