Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens not hating on Kyrie Irving

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

While Boston Celtics fans are going to love to hate Kyrie Irving, there are no hard feelings coming from head coach Brad Stevens.

Sometimes things work out in the NBA and sometimes they just don’t.  That is the approach Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is taking coming off a disappointing season headlined by the media drama and eventual departure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

While Irving’s departure to the Brooklyn Nets has him emerging as one of the most disliked star athletes to have played in Boston, Stevens is not about to join the lynch mob in hating on Irving.

Prior to checking out the team’s Summer League game against the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night, the Celtics head coach was obviously asked about the loss of Kyrie Irving and if there was anything the team could’ve done to kept the star long term.

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"“I don’t know if there’s anything anyone individually necessarily feels like they should have done or could’ve done [to keep Irving].” Stevens said, as transcribed by NBS Sports Boston.  “That’s part of free agency.  You can go wherever you want.”"

Irving certainly did that, going to a team he has apparently wanted to play for since he was a child.  You really can’t blame a player for fulfilling his childhood dreams, but when that same player tells ticket holders he intends to stick around and makes a commercial that he wants his number raised in the historic rafters of TD Garden, it’s easy to see why fans fell out of love with Kyrie Irving.

But, despite the media reality show, it is hard to ignore the talent and that’s what Stevens pointed out about his former star guard, saying that he “enjoyed Kyrie” and wished him success in his new endeavor.

In a way, that is what makes Brad Stevens such a likable coach.  Even with rumors out there that he and Kyrie had their issues, the Celtics coach is taking the high road and taking as much blame for the disappointing season as anyone.  He is certainly not putting the blame all on Mr. Irving.

"“Anytime you go through a year like we went through where you don’t necessarily meet expectations…There’s probably going to be some change,” Stevens continued.  “And I don’t fault him one bit for choosing to follow whatever he wants to do; that’s his right.”"

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It’s easy to say that when a player like Kyrie Irving is replaced by another All-Star in Kemba Walker.  Though the team also loss Al Horford and Marcus Morris, the influx of new guys should give Stevens an entertaining and more like-able team to work with.

At least that’s how it looks so far.