‘We’re all villains in someone’s eyes’: Joe Mazzulla backs Kyrie Irving amid Boston’s snub over Mavericks Star

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla shared his views on the upcoming matchup against the Dallas Mavericks and their formidable player, Kyrie Irving.

In response to the anticipation surrounding Irving’s return to TD Garden, Mazzulla emphasized the nuanced nature of public perception.

The reporter acknowledged that Boston fans could not get over their dislike of Irving and asked, “Kyrie will be seen as a villain in this series.”

Mazzulla took the philosophical route when he responded, “Aren’t we all in someone’s eyes? In someone’s eyes we are all villains.”

Irving, the Dallas Mavericks’ talented but divisive point guard, will face his former team, the Boston Celtics, in the highly anticipated 2024 NBA Finals.

The game added uncertainty to expectations due to Irving’s strained relationship with Celtics fans during his time in Boston.


Irving’s tumultuous stint with the Boston Celtics began in 2017 after his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Promised to lead the team to glory, Irving’s stay in Boston fell short of expectations, marred by reported strained relationships with young players and a controversial departure to join the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.

Likewise, his departure from the Celtics was met with disappointment and even hostility from fans, especially after an ill-advised incident involving stomping on the Celtics logo during the 2021 playoffs.

Also read: ‘You really got out of the mud’: Tyler Herro trolls PJ Washington on his Instagram Live after Mavericks advance to NBA Finals

Would Kyrie Irving overcome his Celtics drought?

Kyrie Irving’s struggles against his former team, the Boston Celtics, have been noticeable, with his recent record against the Green Team indicating a significant challenge. In the last 10 games against the Celtics, Irving is without a win, dating back to the 2021-22 season when his Brooklyn Nets were swept by Boston in the playoffs.

Additionally, the Mavericks lost both of their games against the Celtics in the 2023-24 season, punctuated by a resounding 28-point defeat in March. The clear animosity the Celtics faithful have towards Irving is evident because both the Celtics and their fan base are eager to maintain their dominance against him.

Despite these scary statistics, however, there are compelling reasons to believe Kyrie Irving could end his Celtics drought. The Mavericks have grown into a formidable force and have undergone remarkable changes since their last meeting with the Celtics.

The team’s improved performance, which saw them win sixteen of their last twenty matches and emerge as the fifth seed in the competitive Western Conference, signals a significant transformation. Additionally, the standout performance of Luka Doncic, who excelled as a leading player in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, further adds to the potential for a turnaround.

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