Kyrie Irving About to Face the Toughest Battle of His NBA Career

Kyrie Irving will face a hostile environment in Boston throughout the NBA Finals.
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Five
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Five / David Berding/GettyImages

At the moment, Kyrie Irving is being viewed as the prodigal son throughout Dallas. After having a turbulent few years before coming to the Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie has successfully been able to rejuvenate his career and has reemerged as one of the most proficient point guards in the league. 

While the entire city of Dallas is currently enamored with Kyrie and the level of skill he has brought to the Mavericks, a great deal of animosity still remains between Kyrie and his upcoming Finals opponent the Boston Celtics. Irving spent two years playing for the Celtics and it appears that there is no love lost between the Celtics and Kyrie.

While he was able to put up solid numbers when healthy, Kyrie couldn't seem to escape controversy while in Boston and his tenure with the Celtics could be described as turbulent and disappointing for both sides involved.

Since leaving Boston after the 2019 season, animosity between the Celtics and Irving has continued to grow. The hostility reached a new high during the 2022 playoffs when Kyrie returned to TD Garden with the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. After taking a commanding lead against the Celtics toward the end of the game, Kyrie decided to flip off a couple of Celtics fans sitting in the front row which caused his relationship with Celtics fans to grow even more tenuous.

Two years later, Kyrie is returning to Boston for the first time since that notorious playoff series. It can be expected that he will be in for a hostel greeting from Celtics fans as they will do everything in their power to make the first two games of the Finals as uncomfortable as can be for Kyrie.

While preparing to return to Boston, Kyrie has been reflecting on his time in Boston earlier this week.

"I wasn't my best self during that time. When I look back on it, I just see it as a time where I learned how to let go of things and learned how to talk through my emotions."

Kyrie Irving

While Irving does admit that he was flawed during his time with the Celtics and takes some of the blame for how things ended, he also feels that he could have received more grace from Boston saying, “A little bit more grace could have been extended my way, especially what I was dealing with during that time as a human being."

Overall while Kyrie currently is the hero in the eyes of Mavs fans, he plays the role of the villain in the eyes of Celtics fans and it will be interesting to see how he handles his return to Boston which will be far from a warm welcome.

Nonetheless, this storyline between Boston and Kyrie will be one of several thrilling storylines going into the Finals and is another indication that we are in for a great few weeks of basketball to conclude the season.

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