After Saturday’s win against the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyrie Irving spoke with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes about his recent run-ins with the media and how he’s reflected on them. In the interview, Irving admitted to not being ‘perfect’ when dealing with the media and wants people to know that’s ‘just not who he is.’
“The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect,” Irving told Yahoo Sports as he rested his feet in a bucket of ice at his locker stall. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven’t done it perfectly. I haven’t said the right things all the time. I don’t want to sit on a place like I’m on a pedestal from anybody. I’m a normal human being that makes mistakes. For me, I think because of how fixated I was on trying to prove other people wrong, I got into a lot of habits that were bad, like reading stuff and reacting emotionally. That’s just not who I am.”
Irving also told Yahoo Sports that he feels he needs to be an example for the players that’ll end up dealing with the media after he’s gone.
“Being one of the top guys in the league, this all comes with it,” Irving told Yahoo Sports. “It’s a responsibility that I have to make sure that I know who I’m doing this for and know why I’m doing this. It’s for the players that are coming behind me who will be in this league and setting an example for them on how to handle things and how to evolve within your career.”
Just last month, Irving told the media that this season has been a ‘trying year’ for the Boston Celtics and its young group of players. Irving suggested that to reach the next level, ‘there’s a maturity that you have to have.’ Of course, some took this as a direct shot towards a few players on the roster.
Last week news broke out about a compelling plane ride Boston had in which Irving apologized to head coach Brad Stevens and the rest of the team for the mishandling of his media spotlight.
For now, Irving just wants the locker room to understand who he is and wants others to know he’s constantly learning how to deal with the media from older players.
“I just want to make sure this locker room understands who I am and what I represent,” Irving told Yahoo Sports. “I’m trying to make sure that they set a great example for young players that are coming after them as well. Like I said, I haven’t said the right things and done all the right things, and I don’t ever want to compare myself to perfection. But I can tell that I’m definitely learning from the older players, the players that are my age and the younger players on how to deal with the evolution of just media. It’s a platform now, it’s an entire industry that bothers a lot of people, entertainers, athletes. Being at the click of a button and someone commenting on your life all the time and you’re seeing it. It doesn’t make you feel good when you’re feeding yourself that.”