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Celtics News: Kyrie Irving Says He's 'Actual Genius' When It Comes to Basketball

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 3, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 30: Kyrie Irving (11) of the Boston Celtics rests during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images).
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving called himself an "actual genius when it comes to [basketball]" in an interview with ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan.

Irving told MacMullan:

"I've been playing basketball a lot longer than some of these people analyzing the game. I'm an actual genius when it comes to this game.

"If you ask me about basketball, I will talk all day. If you ask me about spacing at the 3:33 mark of the second quarter, I will gladly explain it. I'll tell you what plays worked, about adjustments we make. But when it comes to personal things, or comparing myself to my NBA brothers, like, 'Do you think you are better than this guy?' I'm out."

Deciphering a player's basketball IQ is an inexact and perhaps fruitless science, especially for armchair analysts. However, it's hard to argue against Irving being a basketball genius.

The 27-year-old has done quite well for himself in eight seasons, averaging 22.2 points and 5.7 assists per game, making six All-Star Games and winning the 2016 NBA Finals. He has a chance to add to his resume with a second NBA championship this season.

Irving has done all that while running the point, which is arguably the most cerebral basketball position.

Reactions were mixed to Irving's line, however.

Slam magazine was in Irving's corner.

SLAM @SLAMonline

Facts. Where is the lie? 💯 https://t.co/0Asdj1CmxR

Adam Kaufman of WBZ News Radio was not a fan of the line, though:

Adam Kaufman @AdamMKaufman

Maybe so, but hate this quote from Kyrie Irving. "I've been playing basketball a lot longer than some of these people analyzing the game. I'm an actual genius when it comes to this game." But, he's not worried about our opinions, which is good. #Celtics https://t.co/4bDeaX1XxY

Bomani Jones of ESPN perhaps provided the most interesting take on High Noon:

HIGH NOON @HIGHNOONonESPN

“He certainly demonstrates some qualities that make him seem like a savant, the tricky thing with calling him a genius is he has the ball all the time” @bomani_jones on Kyrie Irving saying “I’m an actual genius at this game” https://t.co/vF6G4rQpwU

Irving and the Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series at 8 p.m. ET Friday.

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