We’ve all heard of Kyrie Irving, the flat-earth believing, clutch shot swishing Celtic with ice in his veins. We all know “Untucked-jersey Kyrie”. He only comes out in close games and like “Wheelchair Paul Pierce” and “Gang Sign John Wall” may be a top 5 player all time. This past Summer, we met Uncle Drew, but Kyrie’s multiple alter egos were not done yet. We met another one last night.
In what may have been a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas night. We were given the best present ever of more basketball as regulation ended 108-108. Kyrie was already in full untucked-jersey mode when he made the shot that extended the game, but he hit a new level in overtime. Crucial shot after crucial shot, Irving entered what many are calling Khristmas Kyrie mode. The Kyrie that has a clear path the basket, but schwaps 3 instead. The Kyrie that drops 40 and 10 on maybe the best team in the East all while being guarded by an NBA All-Defensive Team member. The Kyrie that dominates so much that the 3 other double-doubles in the game don’t even get a mention in the game recap.
That’s right. Joel Embiid had 34 points and 16 rebounds, Simmons had 11 and 14 and Butler had 24 and 5. On Kyrie’s own team he overshadowed Tatum’s 23 and 10 and Morris’ 23 and 6. These performances were just afterthoughts compared to Kyrie. He was just that dominant.
And to think some Celtics fans wanted to trade him away…