That’s the message from Kevin Boyle, the legendary high school basketball coach who has mentored the likes of Ben Simmons, DeAngelo Russell, R.J. Barrett and Kyrie Irving, among others. Now he’s weighing in on Irving, whom he still has a strong connection with, if not a frequent line of discussion.
“I think the Celtics want to prove they can get back to where they were two years ago, with the young guys getting a chance to shine,” Boyle told the Boston Globe’s Tara Sullivan. “And Kyrie, he wants to show he’s a championship guard, he’s been in a number of Finals, and remind us, ‘Hey, I can help carry a team.’
“Obviously the team did not achieve like they would have wanted or he would have wanted. They have a terrific coach, a really good GM, really good players. They just didn’t jell. … I think hopefully everybody takes what they’ve been accountable for and tries to see how they can move forward in their own careers, correct that and go forward.”
For Boyle, what feels like a surefire parting of ways doesn’t have to be a bad thing for anyone involved.
In fact, the Celtics may be better positioned after a little addition by subtraction: 2018-19 Celtics – Irving x 2017-18 Celtics chemistry + youth = 2019-20 success. Or something like that.
Now it’s all about the waiting. NBA free agency kicks off at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, and Irving is expected to make his decision known sometime soon thereafter. Most experts are pointing toward the Nets, though Boyle and all others who know Irving have cautioned not to expect any particular destination. After all, the only thing harder than explaining why Irving might feel the way he does is actually guessing what he’s thinking in the first place.