Kendrick Perkins Rips ‘Disrespectful’ Kyrie Irving After Celtics’ Playoff Exit

Kendrick Perkins Rips ‘Disrespectful’ Kyrie Irving After Celtics’ Playoff Exit
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 8: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics speaks to the media Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Kyrie Irving does not have a fan in Kendrick Perkins.

The former Celtics center criticized Irving for his attitude during Boston’s second-round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, telling Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd it was “disrespectful” to the city.

Perkins said:

“In this series, I think Kyrie, the way he went about it was disrespectful to the city of Boston, was disrespectful to the organization. And he didn’t represent what Celtic pride is all about. I spent my first eight-and-a-half years of my career in Boston, and those fans are unbelievable, the organization is unbelievable, the history of the franchise in itself is unbelievable. 

“And the way Kyrie went about it, ‘OK, yeah, I struggled. OK, on to the next game.’ Kinda like the, ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Just basically, throughout the whole process, I thought he had got it, but he was just a bad leader and he didn’t represent was Celtic pride was about. It was proven, in my opinion, he’s not a Batman. He’s a great player, Kyrie is an elite player, but he’s not a Batman. He’s a Batman when he’s on the team with LeBron (James), but he’s not a Batman. He can’t carry his own team.”

Irving struggled for most of the five-game loss to Milwaukee, averaging 20.4 points, 6.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds on just 35.6 percent shooting. He made only seven of his 32 attempts from beyond the arc but largely bristled at criticism of his performance.

Irving told reporters after he went 7-of-22 in a Game 4 loss: 

“I’m a basketball player, prepare the right way. Like I said, it’s a little different when your rhythm is challenged every play down. You’re being picked up full court, they are doing things to test you. The expectations on me are going to be sky-high. I try to utilize their aggression against them and still put my teammates in great position while still being aggressive. I am trying to do it all.”

Irving also asked reporters “who cares?” about his shooting slump. The All-Star has been the source of a vast majority of the criticism during this disappointing Celtics season, largely centered on his demeanor. He criticized his younger teammates, said he doesn’t “owe anybody s–t” months after he told fans he’d re-sign in Boston and has done nothing to quell rumors that he’d like to play with close friend Kevin Durant.

Irving told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports in March: 

“The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect. 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.”

Perkins played with the Celtics from 2003 to 2011, helping the franchise win the 2008 NBA championship. He drew plaudits in Boston for his no-nonsense toughness, which he developed in part under the wing of Kevin Garnett

Perkins and Kyrie were teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015.    

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