Kyrie Irving warns players joining Celtics: ‘Do your homework’ 




Celtics

“You just expect to have a magnifying glass on you everywhere you go.”

Kyrie Irving has been greeted with plenty of boos during multiple games at TD Garden. (Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff)

Kyrie Irving has established himself as persona non grata on Causeway Street for years now.

The sour sentiment doled out by Celtics fans toward the star guard stands in stark contrast to his initial reception in Boston in 2017 — back when he was viewed as a franchise fixture and leader of a Celtics core poised to contend for the foreseeable future.

Of course, things went south in short order for Irving in Boston, with his presence on the parquet floor now drawing a chorus of boos and jeers. 

Irving has generally taken the high road this series when it comes to Celtics fans and his time with Boston. But the future Hall-of-Famer did get candid when discussing this passionate market and the potential hurdles that await any player that lands with Boston — be it in free agency or via trade. 

“You just expect to have a magnifying glass on you everywhere you go. I don’t think Boston appreciates being kind of second class to New York in terms of the media capital of the world, but this is the media capital of the world as well,” Irving said Sunday at TD Garden. “There’s a lot of history here off the court. The community has integrated into the Celtics’ team. That’s probably the best way I could say it. 

“The community is what makes the Celtics great here, the Boston pandemonium. That’s what makes this space so loud and so special, and they take pride in it. If any player is coming here, getting drafted here, thinking about coming here for free agency, getting traded here, I just think do your homework and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. That’s something I could offer.”

Irving seems to have carved out a clean slate in Dallas after a pair of tumultuous stops with both Boston and Brooklyn. He submitted two strong showings at American Airlines Center in Games 3 and 4 —scoring 35 points in Game 3 before adding 21 points and six assists in Game 4 over just 31 minutes of a blowout win.

But he has struggled at TD Garden in this series, shooting just 13-for-37 from the field in Games 1 and 2. 

Irving did show some contrition in terms of how he handled his two seasons in Boston, noting that he contributed to the hostility that is put on display whenever he’s on the court at TD Garden.

“You have to show your respect here,” Irving said. “I think that’s what I struggled with initially, was figuring out how I’m going to be a great player here while winning championships and also leading a team and selflessly joining the Celtics’ organization or the cult that they have here. That’s what they expect you to do as a player. They expect you to seamlessly buy into the Celtics’ pride, buy into everything Celtics. And if you don’t, then you’ll be outed.

I’m one of the people that’s on the outs (laughing). I’m perfectly fine with that, you know what I mean. I did it to myself. They don’t welcome me with a warm embrace, even though I know a lot of people in the organization and I’m friends still with some of them.

But, yeah, doing it to myself. And that’s what I was talking about in terms of accepting the choices. But looking back, I would have shown my respect and have more of a council around me from some of the Boston Celtics that came before me to explain what the pressure is like.”





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