The city of Boston is not going to be happy about this. After watching the Red Sox and Patriots win championships this past year, they had their sights sent on all four professional teams winning their respective league's titles. And it wasn't completely preposterous to consider.
That all came to an end, however, thanks to the Celtics being embarrassed by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. And as a result of being eliminated in five games -- during which they were routinely blown off the floor and utterly outclassed -- it must be said that the Kyrie Irving era in Boston simply needs to end.
Last time Kyrie is in a Celtics jersey? pic.twitter.com/d4ljOEnJAx— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 9, 2019
During Game 5, Irving just didn't have it. Out of 21 field goal attempts, the point guard just made six for a grand total of 15 points. He was 1-for-7 from behind the arc on top of it all.
When your season is on the line, that kind of performance is simply unacceptable, to say nothing of his famous ability to sulk and complain and find new ways to resist being a real leader.
When looking at the four losses against Milwaukee, Irving shot 30 percent from the field on 83 attempts. That's not what the Celtics had envisioned they'd get from the former first overall pick, especially in the playoffs.
Last four games:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 9, 2019
Kyrie Irving: 25-83 FG, 5-27 from 3
George Hill: 24-39 FG, 8-16 from 3
Boston had such high hopes for Irving, and he never lived up to them despite his grandiose promises. He demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he wanted to lead his own team-- and when the Celtics came calling and acquired him in a blockbuster deal, they couldn't have imagined he'd lay such an egg when it mattered most.
Irving missed out on last year's playoff run due to a knee injury, but the star-less Celtics still made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, they looked like a jumbled mess, and Irving's insistence to continually shoot the ball did everything but help.
Kyrie Irving on his recent bad shooting stretch: "who cares?...."— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 7, 2019
He goes on to talk about the Bucks defense and matching their aggressiveness:
"for me, the 22 shots...I should've shot 30" pic.twitter.com/3SbkVbx9ZX
In terms of leadership, Irving didn't necessarily show that this year the way he needed to. He lambasted his teammates on the court (remember January against the Magic?) and took subtle but indirect shots at the young players on the Celtics roster in discussions with the media.
Oh, and then there was the media scrum heard round the world. Prior to a game against the Knicks, Irving was asked about his commitment to the Celtics, to which he replied, "ask me July 1st," while stressing he didn't owe anybody anything.
Irving's Boston tenure contained more "what-ifs" than actual success. His presence was supposed to bring the Celtics their first Larry O'Brien Trophy since 2008, but he's proven that he just can't get the job done.
When Boston fans think of the Kyrie Irving era, they will hold their heads, sigh, and think about what could have been. It's time to end this thing.