Kyrie Irving Compares Celtics to a Cult, Warns Players About Signing With Boston

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving says one of his mistakes in Boston was not buying into the unique Celtics culture, which he now knows is a non-negotiable part of joining such a storied franchise.

“You have to show your respect here,” Irving said on Sunday ahead of Game 5. “I think that’s what I struggled with initially, was figuring out how I’m going to be a great player here while winning championships and also leading a team and selflessly joining the Celtics’ organization or the cult that they have here. That’s what they expect you to do as a player. They expect you to seamlessly buy into the Celtics’ pride, buy into everything Celtics. And if you don’t, then you’ll be outed.”

Irving added that he was OK with being on the outer.

“I’m one of the people that’s on the outs,” he said. “I’m perfectly fine with that, you know what I mean. I did it to myself. They don’t welcome me with a warm embrace, even though I know a lot of people in the organization and I’m friends still with some of them,” Irving said. “But, yeah, doing it to myself. And that’s what I was talking about in terms of accepting the choices. But looking back, I would have shown my respect and have more of a council around me from some of the Boston Celtics that came before me to explain what the pressure is like.”

While Irving’s use of the word “cult” will raise some eyebrows, this appears to be his way of taking responsibility for not respecting the unique situation he walked into when he joined the Celtics.

Irving also warned potential future Celtics players to avoid making the same mistake he did.

“If any player is coming here, getting drafted here, thinking about coming here for free agency, getting traded here, I just think do your homework and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into,” he said. “That’s something I could offer.”

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