BOSTON (CBS) — No one was particularly happy as the Boston Celtics slumped their way to a 10-10 start to the season.
It even sparked a “heated moment” on the bench between the C’s star player and head coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The incident occurred during Boston’s Nov. 24 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas, when Brad Stevens and his staff got on Kyrie Irving.
“Irving had a heated moment on the bench in which he directed words toward coach Brad Stevens and others, league sources told The Athletic. It was after the coaching staff’s feedback over a turnover on a previous play, according to sources, when Irving finally responded, had an emotional exchange and let out some bottled up frustration.”
That dispute ended up being a healthy one, as Charania added that the incident did not get personal and both still hold each other in a high regard. Stevens and Irving continue to have a strong relationship, as both have sung each other’s praises in the media. Irving said just ahead of the season that Stevens is one of the main reasons he wants to sign in Boston long-term, and that hasn’t changed after last month’s disagreement.
The tiff is also being credited for helping the Celtics get out of their funk, as Boston ripped off eight straight wins. They have won 10 of their last 13 games and now sit in fourth in the Eastern Conference.
That’s not to say everything has been perfect in the Land of Green. The Celtics have held two team meetings over the last week — following their frustrating loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last Thursday and just prior to Sunday’s blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets — to further iron out their issues. Even with 40 percent of the season in the books, there is still plenty of work to do if the Celtics want to be the Eastern Conference contender that everyone was touting them to be over the summer.
But while things may get heated at times, this shows that cooler heads can prevail and the Celtics can all work together. Sometimes, a team needs their two biggest figures to clash in order to fix what is wrong.
Boston is going for their third straight win Thursday night when they begin a three-game road trip against the Rockets in Houston.