"Tell me how many other players can say that".
Yes, it's true that Irving was not needed by either the Celtics or Cavs to make the Eastern Conference Finals, but it's also true that with Irving the Celtics would undoubtedly have downed the Cavs.
James played all 48 minutes in Game 7, scoring 35 points on 12-of-24 shooting from the field (3-of-8 from beyond the arc), 15 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks.
Hayward required the additional procedure after experiencing discomfort due to the screws in his surgically repaired left fibula.
Dele Alli is getting booed by Nigeria fans at Wembley
Southgate has been hailed for his experimental style since taking over from Roy Hodgson previous year . And the manager believes his quartet of attacking stars showed their class again today.
That's good news for Hayward and the Celtics, who, while impressed by the play of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, could clearly use some added offensive pop from the wing and a veteran presence. The Celtics still have things they need to figure out, making sure they can be at their best when the regular season starts. If he's just at home chilling or somewhere not important, to me, that's a problem.
But after losing key men Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving - and important bench player Daniel Theiss - to season-ending injuries before the playoffs even began, there is no doubt the C's exceeded expectation during a hard year. He had been ruled out of the postseason prior to the surgery.
Hayward has since returned to court and is said to be holding one-on-one practices, but is a long way away from returning to competitive action.
"Gordon is progressing well", Ainge said. "He's on the court now, finally doing a little bit of competition, like just one-on-one".