Playing in any major sports town is tough, and there are some athletes who just aren't cut out for it. New York, Philadelphia and Boston are all well-known for having diehard fans that are not afraid to boo you if you're not performing to their standards. However, bring a title to any of those towns, or beat a bitter rival of theirs and they'll love you forever. Just don't try to force your way out of there or proclaim to the entire fanbase how you want to retire there and then bolt at the first chance you get because they will remember it, and will never forgive you for it.
Kyrie Irving hasn't returned to TD Garden to play the Boston Celtics yet after he decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer, after a season where he told a packed NBA arena how he wants his No. 11 jersey to hang in the rafters there. The Nets and Celtics have already played twice this season, but Irving's been sidelined for both after sustaining a shoulder injury that's kept him sidelined for going on nine games now. Even though he's not playing, that hasn't stopped retired players from talking about how Irving wasn't built for Boston anyway.
While doing press for his upcoming movie, Uncut Gems, former Celtics great Kevin Garnett was brutally honest in his assessment of the Irving-Boston debacle. After saying he wasn't surprised Irving left Boston, Garnett further explained his answer about what it takes to survive there.
"Boston's a tough town, dawg. You have to have some major cojones to be there," Garnett said via The New York Daily News. "You got to want that. The people want it for you. That's why Paul (Pierce) is perfect for it. Paul wants the shot every time. Like, 'You're 0-for-14.' And he's like, 'I know, but they want it.'"
Garnett isn't the only former Celtics player who thinks that Irving wasn't cut out for Boston though. Prior to the Celtics' first matchup against the Nets on Nov. 27th, Kendrick Perkins took to Twitter to call out Irving for not playing in the upcoming matchup, suggesting that Irving wasn't injured, but instead chose to sit out rather than facing the Boston fans.
Kyrie looked at the schedule before the season started and planned this whole injury thing because he didn’t want to go back to Boston this upcoming week!!! He didn’t want that smoke in the Bean Town. Smh— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 23, 2019
Even though Irving wasn't playing, that didn't stop Celtics fans from chanting "Kyrie sucks" throughout the game, while posters with Irving's face and the word "coward" written across it were plastered outside the arena., saying that basketball means "very very little in the real world that most people live in because there are actually things that matter going on within it."
"I thought they should have done the Knicks, if I'm being honest." Garnett said. "I'm not a Knick fan by far. But if they come to the city and dominate, man. …The first superstar to hit New York and be vibing is going to be bigger than life. Remember I said that. Any piece of hope in this city is going to skyrocket. People are waiting."
It's funny considering Garnett did spend two seasons as a member of the Nets, but Knicks fans have been waiting a very long time. However, as Durant has said before,For now, Durant and Irving are in Brooklyn, and while both of them are injured, and we don't expect to see Durant until next season, when the two of them do suit up together the Nets will be the starring attraction in New York City.