Home Sports Kyrie Irving reacts to losing NBA Finals vs. former Celtics teammates

Kyrie Irving reacts to losing NBA Finals vs. former Celtics teammates

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Kyrie Irving reacts to losing NBA Finals vs. former Celtics teammates

Kyrie Irving reacts to NBA Finals loss against former Celtics teammates originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Dallas Mavericks needed Kyrie Irving to play consistently at an elite level to beat his former team, the Boston Celtics, in the 2024 NBA Finals. But outside of Game 3 and the first half of Game 4, Irving failed to deliver. when the Mavs needed him most.

Celts won his league-leading 18th championship with a 106-88 victory over the Mavericks in Game 5 of the series Monday night at TD Garden.

Irving scored just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting with nine assists and three rebounds in 41 minutes. He was held under 20 points in three of the five games and shot just 27.6 percent from 3-point range.

In the final minutes of Game 5, Irving approached some of the Celtics players, as well as head coach Joe Mazzulla, and congratulated them. He then walked off the court to the bench as the Mavericks began to retire their starters.

What was going through Irving’s mind at that moment?

“Yeah, it was emotional anyway. I mean, every series was emotional, just because I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like and how we were going to respond to a little bit of adversity,” Irving told reporters in his postgame speech. . Press conference.

“We finally ran into a team that beat us fair and square, and we couldn’t respond to a lot of their runs and we couldn’t execute at a high level. So when I was shaking everyone’s hand, that was more of a sign of respect for their journey. They’ve been through an incredible five-year stretch, getting to Game 7 or losing in the Finals, so you know what this bitter feeling feels like to be here answering questions about when this next year remains and I think that. They used everything as motivation.

“They were healthy and really kept their heads down and didn’t pay attention to any of the personal or individual praise. I think they just came together as a team and were okay with each person being great in their role and being selfless.” giving their best, so I think we learned more than anything from this series about what it takes to not only get back to this level, but to win at this level, and the Celtics are the perfect example for us this season because as. a lot they’ve had to deal with over the last few years.

Irving specifically praised Celtics stars Jaylen Brown. who won the 2024 NBA Finals MVP — and Jayson Tatum for his role in helping the Celtics win a title.

“Yeah, it was a great moment to see that trophy in his hands,” Irving said of Brown winning the MVP. “I think he and JT should have split it up, but those two guys in particular, you know, they’ve almost been like students and now they’ve also become teachers in their own right.

“So to see them achieve it, to see them achieve it, I’m very proud and also extremely motivated to get back into this position in the next few years with my guys and be able to win this.”

celts fans He booed Irving a lot in this series. He became one of Boston’s main sports villains after leaving the franchise as a free agent in 2019.

The Celtics ultimately had the last laugh, defeating Irving on the game’s biggest stage to claim their first championship since 2008.

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