Duke alums Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum developing brother-like bond on Boston Celtics

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Duke alums Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum developing brother-like bond on Boston Celtics

Post by bobheckler on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:32 pm

http://celticswire.usatoday.com/2018/01/10/kyrie-irinv-jayson-tatum-brothers-bond-boston-celtics-duke/




Duke alums Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum developing brother-like bond on Boston Celtics















By: Jared Weiss | 43 minutes ago




Brad Stevens and Kyrie Irving discussed the brother-like bond between the two former Duke stars in a new piece from Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger.


Kyrie Irving was brought into the fold with the Boston Celtics not only to expand his own horizon’s, but the franchise’s. Danny Ainge’s front office acquired Irving because they saw an already sparkling diamond in the rough that needed a little more room to truly shine.


When Irving was in Cleveland, the team had one clear leader in LeBron James and a slew of veterans to fill in the leadership gaps. But in Boston, Irving is one of the elder statesmen and has taken on a quiet leadership role, both orally and by example.


One of his biggest targets has been Jayson Tatum, a fellow Duke alum whom he has been following since Tatum was 16. Now Irving is helping him learn how to walk the path in the NBA.

“It’s happened numerous times where we’ve had those in-game talks,” Tatum told Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger.


Those in-game talks come from a place of both support and endearment. Irving was subject to plenty of indirect condescension in Cleveland because of the narrative established that he was a younger brother to LeBron. It reached a peak — or rather a low — when a reporter naively asked if LeBron was a father figure to him. Irving’s response was that he had one father and his names was Drederick Irving. It never appeared LeBron was intentionally trying to disrespect Irving by calling him “Kid” or anything of that sort, but the way it was inferred by outsiders was not optimal.



Now Kyrie is trying to work the other side of that relationship, trying to make Tatum feel empowered first and foremost.


“It was already developing into a brother-brother relationship, and then I ended up getting traded here,” Irving told reporters in Brooklyn Saturday. “And from that point, it just continued to develop. I give him his space, and he gives me mine. But whenever he needs an ear to lend or that extra push, I’m there. I told him from Day 1, ‘No matter what’s going on out here, you can always look to me to exude that confidence in you.'”


Brad Stevens has seen how Irving’s stewardship of Tatum and fellow blue chip prospect Jaylen Brown has helped the two move forward with their careers at a breakneck pace.


“I think sometimes when young players are able to perform like that, they earn that trust pretty quickly,” Stevens told B/R. “To Jayson’s credit and to Jaylen’s credit, they see a lot of guys that are in their draft class, and those guys just do whatever task is asked. It’s also not easy, but it’s a form of leadership because it’s a willingness to do your role well. I think Kyrie’s support of them helps that.”


Relative to what Irving has experienced before and what Boston expects come playoff time, the pressure in Boston has been pretty relaxed. It remains to be seen how Irving’s endlessly patient leadership approach will hold true once time starts to run short on the season.


This will be the first time in his career where the onus will be completely on him in the playoffs, where he doesn’t have Lebron to share the burden of the intensity of the playoffs and he is surrounded by players with minimal experience who may struggle under defensive intensity and the pressure of the moment.


But he is a crucial part of the locker room culture that is setting that foundation now, mitigating the risk that young guys like Tatum, Brown and Semi Ojeleye will struggle to deal with the new reality that is playoff basketball. Brown went through it last year and was up and down. Tatum and Ojeleye have some experience with March Madness, but that pales in comparison.


It’s Irving’s steady hand and almost tranquil state in crunch time that will be the beacon for consistency and commitment to the plan.





bob



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Re: Duke alums Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum developing brother-like bond on Boston Celtics

Post by NYCelt on Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:17 pm

These two are turning the draft theory that you just need to select the best available Duke player into reality.

The Celtics may have failed in their all-out attempt to get Coach K, but we're doing fine with his students.
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