After yesterday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets, defensive stalwart, Marcus Smart, didn’t mince words when talking about his disdain for Boston Celtics fan’s vocal hatred for former star point guard Kyrie Irving.
After a back-to-back this week that saw the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets collect wins on each of their respective home courts, fans and media alike — admittedly, including ourselves — could not help but key in on a Nets player who, not seven months ago, was donning the green and white colors of “Title Town’s” most beloved NBA organization.
Two seasons with the storied franchise was all it took for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving to decide his time in New England had run its course, and opted to sign a 4-year, $136 million contract with the Nets this past offseason. Since his exit, it has been one of the most poorly kept secrets that Boston Celtics fans were — to put it lightly — disappointed by both Irving’s short-lived tenure as well as his decision to jump ship.
So far into the 2019-20 campaign, media outlets covering the Celtics have not shied away from throwing shade at their former face of the franchise. For every Boston fan, November 27th was a date marked on the calendar as soon as the season’s schedule was released, as this would be a home tilt for the Celtics against the Brooklyn Nets; i.e. Irving’s return to the TD Garden.
Unfortunately, however, the 6x All-Star suffered a right shoulder injury two weeks prior to this fateful day which, ultimately, forced him to sit out the contest. Nevertheless, Boston Celtics fans, despite his absence (Irving didn’t even travel with the team), felt it was still warranted to showcase their feelings for the 27-year-old.
“Kyrie Sucks” chants at the TD Garden pic.twitter.com/iN0nOAxodE
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 28, 2019
After the second night of the team’s back-to-back, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was asked about his relationship with Irving as well as if there were any “hard feelings” in regard to the star’s decision to leave Boston. Smart, retorted: “there [are] no hard feelings.”
“There are no hard feelings, that’s my brother”
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 29, 2019
He later would go on to discuss how he doesn’t appreciate how often Celtics fans find ways to slander and, frankly, bring up Irving, despite the fact that he no longer plays for the franchise.
“I’m really honestly tired of hearing about Kyrie. Kyrie’s no longer with the Boston Celtics, and it’s a slap across everybody on this team that’s here now to keep hearing Kyrie’s name,” Smart said. “Yet everybody, including the Boston fans, wanna talk about Kyrie. Let’s talk about Boston Celtics.”
Now look, we here at Hardwood Houdini have enjoyed slandering Kyrie Irving’s tenure in Boston as much as anyone — especially our own Andrew Hughes — but it must be said; Marcus Smart is absolutely right. Dwelling on past mishaps and former players should not be the main talking point for this team in 2019-20. What should be at the forefront of a fan’s mind is their 13-5 record, their current spot as the number three seed in the East, how well Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and, Irving’s replacement, Kemba Walker have been playing and Gordon Hayward‘s resurgence, just to name a few examples.
This year’s Boston squad looks just as good, if not better, than last year’s team. By vocalizing all this hatred for Kyrie Irving, a former player, Celtics fans are, in a way, slandering this current team and its players.
Truth be told, Irving’s departure this summer may have been a blessing in disguise for the Boston Celtics, as they’ve been flat out terrific to start the season. Less attention should be focused on former members of the shamrocks and, instead, be transitioned towards the team’s present day players.
Marcus Smart is entirely right C’s fans. Kyrie Irving’s no longer on the team. While it may be difficult to accept, for the betterment of your mental health, as well as in honor of the Celtics organization, it’s time to move!