Not long after Irving led the Boston Celtics to their biggest win of the season in a 117-108 victory over the Toronto Raptors, the All-Star point guard remarked after the game that he actually called LeBron James recently to apologize for his behavior when Irving played with LeBron as the Cleveland Cavaliers' leader.
Irving and James played for three years in Cleveland, achieving tremendous team success while delivering the franchise's lone NBA title to the city in 2016. However, Irving demanded a trade out of Cleveland in the summer of 2017, presumably because he wanted to be the leader of his own franchise.
It was quite the difficult situation for Irving. Not only did he have to adapt and adjust to taking a backseat to LeBron after being the face of the Cavaliers' franchise from 2011 until 2014, he had to deal with a lot of the criticism that came with the territory. Any time the Cavaliers lost, it was never LeBron's fault -- it was always his teammates at fault, whether that be Irving, Kevin Love or the role players.
It seems as Irving gets older and gains more experience as the Celtics' leader, he's starting to gain perspective on what LeBron had to go through when he had to handle a young and inexperienced Irving.
Irving's comments regarding LeBron come just days after the 26-year-old point guard blasted his team for not knowing what it takes to get to the next level.
"The young guys don't know what it takes to be a championship level team," Irving said, via Keith Smith of Real GM. "What it takes every day. And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we're trying to get to the Finals?"
Irving's comments prompted Jaylen Brown to respond and disagree with Irving's claim. I mean after all, they did advance to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals without him last season, via Real GM.
"It's not one guy's fault. It's not young guys, old guys' fault. It's everybody. We all have to be accountable to turn this thing around. There's stretches where we play good basketball, and stretches we don't, but we all have to have each other's backs."
There won't be any criticism for the time being considering the Celtics just pulled off a resounding win over the best team in the Eastern Conference.
However, if the Celtics continue to lose and underwhelm, you can expect more of this type of dissension in the locker room.