Marcus Smart says we should stop talking about Kyrie Irving, but when Kevin Garnett speaks, you listen

Photo of Kevin Garnett courtesy of Streeter Lecker/Getty Images

If you read CelticsLife consistently, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, you may have noticed that I did not contribute for about a week around the Thanksgiving holiday. I took an overdue vacation, but while I was away I was itching to comment on Kyrie Irving with the Boston Celtics playing the Brooklyn Nets. Lucky for me, Kevin Garnett has opened the door for me to do so.

Stefan Bondy for the New York Daily News caught up with 2008 NBA Champion Kevin Garnett at an event promoting his new movie starring Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems. As Bondy mentions, the discussion quickly turned to basketball. When asked if he was surprised that Irving left the Celtics, Garnett quickly countered with a “No.” He dives in a little deeper here:

“Boston’s a tough town, dawg. You have to have some major cojones to be there. You got to want that. The people want it for you. That’s why Paul (Pierce) is perfect for it. Paul wants the shot every time. Like, ‘You’re 0-for-14.’ And he’s like, ‘I know, but they WANT it.'”

Pretty telling if you ask me. Irving didn’t have the “cojones” (or balls for those that don’t speak Spanish) to stay in Boston. Garnett knows what it takes to play for this fan-base. He had what it took. Paul Pierce had what it took. As a player, if you want it as much as the fans do, the fans will celebrate you forever.

I have another 2,000 words on how Irving is soft, but that has been written and discussed ad nauseum. I’ll spare you most of it, because as our new better leader proclaims, it is time to quit talking about Irving in the same sentence as the Celtics.

I agree with Marcus Smart to a certain extent. Talking about Irving’s tenure in Boston has us living in the past. It’s time to rally around and enjoy what the Celtics have now. We’re doing that for the most part, but when the Nets play the Celtics as long as Irving is on the team, it’s going to be a talking point.

When the schedule came out, everyone knew that Irving wouldn’t play in Boston on Thanksgiving Eve regardless of the circumstances.

I should be able to let it go. I knew he wasn’t going to play, but when it was announced I couldn’t tame my disappointment. Maybe he is injured. If he isn’t, he’s covering it up pretty well while remaining out for another couple of games. He can’t handle the noise, and when we are preparing to move on, he adds fuel to the fire with this nonsense.

When you’re an NBA player, and a star at that, you know what comes with the territory. You aren’t allowed to just play basketball anymore. You have media obligations and expectations to meet. You make tons of money and are responsible, in part, for a league that generated $8 billion last year. It is a business, my friend. This isn’t high school basketball where you’re just playing with your friends. This is entertainment. Something you should know a lot about, considering you have made two movies during your playing career!

Okay, I’m about to go off the rails. I digress. As Smart stated last week, it’s time for everyone to start talking about this version of the Celtics.

The Celtics have remained a good team without Irving and they’re better off without him. I’m more than pleased that Kemba Walker is now the Celtics All-Star point guard, and that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are going off. I’d rather it this way. The original plan of Irving, Gordon Hayward and cast didn’t work out, but the team has gotten up and dusted off their pants nicely. The minor setback has them building for something new and exciting.

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