Kyrie Irving Was 'Unbelievably Craving' Intellectual Coach Like Brad Stevens

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 1:  Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics reacts to a play against the Sacramento Kings on November 1, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving has praised head coach Brad Stevens since he was traded to the Boston Celtics, and that trend continued during a recent appearance on Holding Court with Geno Auriemma

Speaking to the Hall of Fame coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team (h/t NESN's Dakota Randall), Irving said he was "unbelievably craving" a tactical partner like Stevens. 

"Brad fits perfectly in terms of that because he has an intellectual mind and is an intellectual human being," Irving said. "It was something I was unbelievably craving in terms of what I wanted for my career."

Irving has long been an admirer of Stevens, and told reporters at media day that he "wouldn't want to be with another coach."

"Because he is that intellectual," Irving said, according to NBC Sports Boston. "He is that high-character guy. He's growth-oriented. He wants the best for his team. He's realistic about his goals, about the mission.

"That's who he is. He's a smart individual that knows basketball."

Through Thursday night, the partnership has been a positive one for both sides. 

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The Celtics currently rank third in the NBA in net rating (plus-9.9 points per 100 possessions) and first in defensive rating (95.1). 

Irving, meanwhile, has led the offense with a team-high 21.8 points and 5.6 assists per game on 44.5 percent shooting from the floor, including 35.8 percent from three. 

The Celtics, who have won six straight following an 0-2 start, will attempt to stay hot over the weekend against the Oklahoma City Thunder and surprisingly scalding Orlando Magic

Stats courtesy of NBA.com