BOSTON (CBS) — When Kyrie Irving didn’t make the trip to Boston when the Nets played the Celtics on Wednesday, his name was chanted throughout the night by Boston fans. When Kyrie Irving sat courtside during the Nets’ home victory over the Celtics on Friday afternoon, Irving’s name once again echoed throughout the arena.
Now, Marcus Smart would kindly like you all to stop.
When speaking to the media after Friday’s loss, Smart was asked about Irving for what was likely the 100th time since last May. The Celtics’ unofficial captain said that it’s time to put the Kyrie story to bed.
“Quite frankly, I’m really, honestly tired of hearing about Kyrie,” Smart said Friday. “Kyrie’s no longer with the Boston Celtics. And it’s a slap across [the face] to everybody on this team that’s here now to keep hearing Kyrie’s name, because every last one of these guys have put in the work. We continue to put in the work. We’re here, we’re still competing. But yet everybody, including the Boston fans, want to talk about Kyrie. Let’s talk about the Boston Celtics.”
Smart also said that he has no hard feelings for Irving.
“That’s my brother, regardless of what he did,” Smart said. “He worked hard.”
Irving missed both games against Boston due to a shoulder injury, and after being the subject of derisive chants in Boston, he posted a long statement to Instagram in which he downplayed the significance of basketball compared to real-life issues.
Naturally, given the way Irving vowed to re-sign with the Celtics and expressed a desire to one day have his name hanging in the rafters at the Garden, his unceremonious departure from the team is unlikely to soon be forgotten. But Smart would at least like the Kyrie storyline to die down a bit.
It may never disappear fully, but with the Celtics and Nets not meeting again until early March, Smart likely won’t have to hear about Kyrie for at least a few months.