Was Kyrie Irving's conversation with LeBron James his turning point of the season?

January 23, 2019 - 10:48 am

For a team still trying to find its identity, the Celtics are trending in the right direction.

They’re on a four-game winning streak, Kyrie Irving is one of the hottest players in the NBA and ever since he had his conversation with LeBron James, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Over one week removed from when Irving apologized in Brooklyn for calling out his teammates, the Celtics bounced back from their loss to the Nets and haven’t dropped a game since.

Following the loss, Jaylen Brown took a subtle shot at Irving and Irving endorsed the criticism. He agreed with Brown that finger-pointing wasn’t the right thing to do and according to WEEI’s Josue Pavon, who in the latest episode of the Green Street Podcast with Patrick Gilroy talked about the Celtics veterans stepping up, it comes down to the experienced players setting a standard for the younger players to follow suit.  

“He had it reversed, he had it the wrong way,” Pavon explained. “Jaylen Brown said it best, ‘it starts from the top and then comes down to the bottom.’ You don’t point fingers to the bottom when you guys, maybe not Kyrie Irving, (but) the veterans, the top guys – the most experienced guys – haven’t been the most consistent all year long. They need to set the example.”

Before Irving decided to give his former teammate a call, he had exuded every other option, Gilroy explained. From having individual meetings with his teammates, the players’ only meeting to publically calling his team out; he’s tried it all.

This newfound role that Irving’s in is still fresh, so he reached out to James to not only apologize for how he behaved in his early years – something he’s learned about his younger self since taking on the leader role in Boston – and to seek advice.

“This is really the first time in Kyrie Irving’s career that he entered a season as the leader of a team that has championship aspirations,” Gilroy explained. “So he doesn’t have the experience to draw on, he’s getting a lot of criticism for leading incorrectly.”

We could be in the midst of the turnaround we’ve all been waiting for. The Celtics are getting hot at the right time in the middle of a five-game home stand and days away from hosting the champion Warriors.

Irving is averaging 30.7 points, shooting 60.1 percent from the floor while dishing out 11 assists and finishing with 2.5 steals a night. Click below to listen to Episode 6 of the Green Street Podcast in its entirety.