Injured Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving drew attention for where he wasn’t on Sunday when he didn’t show up to Boston’s Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden.
During the game broadcast, ESPN commentator Mark Jackson called Irving out for not being with his teammates for such an important game.
“He is so valuable to this franchise,” Jackson said. “You never know what he sees that a coach does not see. If he’s just at home chilling or somewhere not important, to me, that’s a problem. I would much rather have the great Kyrie Irving in the building. This is Game 7.”
Danny Ainge explains Kyrie Irving’s absence
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was quick to squash that criticism on Monday, explaining that Irving had recently undergone nasal surgery.
“Kyrie had a deviated septum, had some surgery on that, and so I don’t think he wanted to be seen,” Ainge said. “He’s a really good-looking guy, has his movie career,” Ainge joked, alluding to the “Uncle Drew” movie coming out this summer.
Irving missed the end of the regular season and all of the playoffs after having surgery in April to remove screws from his left knee that had been placed in a 2015 procedure to repair a broken kneecap. The screws had to be removed when tests revealed they were infected with bacteria.
The team said at the time that Irving would need four to five months to recover.
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