According to a recent report, the way in which Boston Celtics players perceived Kyrie Irving stomping on the Celtics logo during the 2021 NBA Playoffs was seen as a bad sign by many within the organization.
“[Marcus] Smart has long been a favorite of both [Brad] Stevens and predecessor Danny Ainge, even as Ainge was reportedly exploring trades for Smart,” wrote Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Despite the continuity in leadership, several team sources suggest the Celtics’ culture of competition is eroding — with more than one source pointing to the players’ perceived indifference toward Kyrie Irving stomping on the Celtics logo after the final home game of the season as a red flag they did not exhibit the same sense of pride in the organization that has been the Celtics’ calling card in years past.”
Irving stomped on the Celtics logo at center court after the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Celtics in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. Some Celtics players took exception to Irving’s act, while others shrugged it off.
The NBA has certainly evolved over the years, as opposing players often do not share the same degree of bad blood that once existed in the league.
Having said that, there are still some players who don’t tolerate the sort of act that Irving displayed.
Based on this report, it seems as if the chemistry amongst Celtics players may have been a factor at play in the team’s disappointing 2020-21 campaign.