BOSTON — Isaiah Thomas came away from his (semi) return to Boston with pretty positive vibes. Jae Crowder? Not so much.
Both Thomas and Crowder visited TD Garden on Wednesday for the first time since the Celtics traded them away for Kyrie Irving this summer. Both received warmed welcomes from the Garden crowd — Thomas after being shown on the Jumbotron and Crowder after a brief tribute video during pregame introductions.
So, why wasn’t Crowder as appreciative of his tribute as Thomas? Well …
“I didn’t see (the tribute video),” Crowder told MassLive.com’s Tom Westerholm after the game. “I didn’t see it. … Damn. I’m pissed you just said that.”
The Celtics’ video montage for Crowder lasted all of 15 seconds and played while he was jogging out onto the court, so it’s understandable why he didn’t see it. The 27-year-old had another reason to be irked, though: He tallied just six points on 2-of-12 shooting in the Cavs’ 102-88 loss.
Crowder insisted he was more upset by the loss than playing poorly in his first time back in Boston.
“Nah, I just wanted to win,” Crowder told Westerholm, “I could have played like (expletive) and got the win and been very happy. I ain’t into all that other stuff. I just like to win. Never been a stats guy.”
While Crowder might not cop to being caught up in the moment, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue admitted emotions could have played a factor in his starting forward’s rough evening.
“I mean, it’s an emotional night,” Lue said after the game. “Going back to the place where you kind of made your career, you want to play well. It’s different. I’ve been in that position before. You’re in a different locker room that you’re not accustomed to.
“It was great to see the fans here in Boston give him a standing ovation along with Isaiah, so it’s just an emotional night for him.”
Crowder will get a shot at redemption soon, though, as Cleveland returns to TD Garden on Feb. 11 for another matchup with the C’s.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images