Kyrie Irving’s playing future has dominated headlines throughout the season, so naturally, every time his Boston Celtics struggle, it becomes a story again.
Irving has publicly criticised teammates, been involved in on-court tantrums, and been the centrepiece in a bunch of hypothetical New York Knicks 2019-20 superteams.
And on Wednesday, the superstar’s discontent was again evident, as the Celtics were thrashed 118-95 by the Toronto Raptors.
“He’s [Kyrie] got to find a way to bring everybody together, and have some real hard and heart[ful] conversation,” Thomas said on the Players Only TNT broadcast.
“Right now it’s a team, to me, of talented players. But, I’m not so sure if this is a team that really likes each other.
“And last year when we saw them play and excel and succeed, you could tell that they were a group of guys that really got along, that really liked each other, and enjoyed playing together.
“I’m not so sure this is a team right now that likes playing together, or really likes each other.”
Irving finished with just seven points in his 27 minutes, while Paskal Siakam topscored for Toronto with 25, and Kawhi Leonard added 21.
“We have to be a lot more connected as a team,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “That’s been the theme for a while.” Celtics guard Marcus Smart echoed his coach’s assessment.
“Nobody is together,” Smart said. “We’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the same things at the same time.” Still, Irving wasn’t on the same page when asked to respond to Smart’s comments.
“That’s Marcus’ opinion,” Irving said, declining to answer after being asked whether he agreed with his teammate.
Irving also had little to say about Stevens’ comment that Boston is taking too many “shortcuts” on defence.
“I don’t know,” Irving said. “It’s up to Brad.”