Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters Wednesday the 2018-19 season presented "a lot of bulls--t," though he said he was referring to himself and how he felt he could have handled certain situations better:
"I had a lot of questions, a lot of things that weren't being answered straight up about what it takes to be a great professional in this league. I think the frame of that is just outdated in terms of what you have to be every single day. It's not that hard, you know what I mean? I think the media and all the stuff that comes with it, I think that it's an exciting part of that that you've got to be aware of. But the real part is literally what I used to wake up every single morning to do, and that's to put a ball in the hoop and be really great at it."
The 27-year-old Irving also said that he's ready to move forward and put the drama from the 2018-19 season in the rearview mirror as he gears up for the playoffs:
"I just have a genuine love for the game and just want to be back to this point, playing at the highest level. Stats go out the window, everything else in terms of what has happened and transpired throughout the regular season goes out the window. It's just like everything is about the true essence of basketball. Nothing else about the drama or extracurricular stuff. I'm excited to be focused on the game and actually talk about basketball instead of sensationalism. I'm just happy about that."
The Celtics finished the regular season 49-33 and are the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, where a tough matchup against the Indiana Pacers awaits. It was a disappointing season for the Celtics, who were expected to be title contenders given their loaded roster.
Instead, the Celtics struggled with consistency throughout the year, as that talented roster never fit together seamlessly and various players struggled in reduced roles.
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Through it all, Irving remained the team's offensive focal point, averaging an impressive 23.8 points and 6.9 assists per game. But Irving was less effective on the defensive end and struggled to find his voice as a leader, at times calling out his younger teammates publicly when the Celtics hit rough patches.
Given Irving's playoff experience and ability to take over any game with his offensive ability—along with the talented cast of players surrounding him—the Celtics are still a threat in the East. But as much as Irving is looking forward to making a potential title push, it sounds as though he's just as excited to put a drama-filled regular season to bed.