‘He’s Misunderstood’: Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Defends Former Controversial Teammate Kyrie Irving

Published 07/02/2021, 8:00 AM EDT


Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving would easily make it to the league’s most controversial players list. Though the media and league personalities have created an image around Kyrie, Celtics’ Jayson Tatum doesn’t comply with it.

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Kyrie Irving, one of the most gifted players of the league, was averaging nearly 27 points this season. Being part of the Big 3 alongside Kevin Durant and James Harden, Kyrie had a star-studded season.

Ball handling and mid-range jumpers are what defines Kyrie as a player. However, his off-court antics do not evoke the same emotions. When the All-star had a two-year run with the Boston Celtics, he could not escape from controversies.

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Jun 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts after a three point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first quarter of game one in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2017 was when Jayson Tatum got drafted to the Celtics, joining Kyrie, who had recently been traded from Cleveland. The two powerhouses were together as teammates for two years and Kyrie moved on to Brooklyn from thereon.

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Tatum says the reputation surrounding Kyrie Irving is unfair

On the recent episode of ‘Beyond the Press’, Tatum opened up about his former teammate. “He’s (Kyrie) misunderstood. I’m sure there’s some things that he’s probably done or said that he has apologized for.”

Tatum further added – “Everybody has done things that they’re not proud of or said things they shouldn’t. The world we live in, everybody’s so quick to judge, which is unfair because we just live in a spotlight. I’m sure if all those people who point fingers and talk about all of us on TV had to live in a spotlight. And, everything they said or did was national news. They wouldn’t be so perfect either.”

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Well, Tatum has always had nothing but respect for the superstar, owing to his role as a mentor in Celtics.

Unfortunately, Kyrie Irving stands amongst the most misunderstood players of the lot. Moreover, several teammates and analysts have openly questioned his statements in media which haven’t been as appropriate. In a similar appearance as his friend and teammate Kevin Durant, Kyrie has been a vocal player with opinions right on the tip of his tongue.

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Pavni Ahuja

449 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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