Kyrie Irving reportedly refused to sign basketballs for Celtics charitable partner at end of season

By WEEI 93.7

It’s been apparent for some time Kyrie Irving likely won’t re-sign with the Celtics this summer. The warning signs added up throughout the winter, culminating in episodes of aloofness and emotional distance, such as when he reportedly refused a team charitable request at the end of the season.

In an expansive piece on ESPN, Jackie MacMullan unveils some new details about Irving’s seeming falling out with the Celtics. She details an episode at the end of the regular season, in which Irving refused to sign 100 basketballs for charity. “At the completion of the regular season, the team set up 100 balls in a room for their charitable partners. Everyone signed the balls except Irving,,” MacMullan reports. “When pressed to do it, say team sources, he was neither aggressive nor confrontational. He merely said, ‘No, I'm not interested in that.’”

MacMullan details some perks the Celtics afforded Irving as well, such as signing a security guard at his table during charity functions and permitting him to occasionally fly separately from his teammates on road trips so he could fulfill outside engagements.

Much like the Cavaliers, the Celtics remain confounded about why Irving soured on them, MacMullan writes.

Perhaps one of the reasons was Irving’s seeming frustration with his younger teammates, which he made clear at various points last season. MacMullan writes about Irving’s frustration when the team traveled to Miami in mid-January, and some of the younger players stayed out until the wee hours of the morning –– despite not getting in until 2:00 a.m. and playing the previous night.

The Celtics lost that game 115-99.

“It's not uncommon for NBA players to go out when they're on the road, but Irving was irked teammates decided to do it in the middle of back-to-back games,” MacMullan writes.

Either way, Kyrie’s relationship with the C’s seems even more broken with each new detail and report. As Brad Stevens tells MacMullan, the mix just did not work last year.