Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder did not leave the Boston Celtics on his own terms, and as such, he feels he should be treated fairly Wednesday in his return to TD Garden.
Crowder joined Isaiah Thomas and Ante Zizic in the Celtics-Cavs trade that landed Kyrie Irving in Boston, and prior to his departure, the veteran forward had been one of the key pieces in the Celtics’ rapid rebuild toward prominence in the Eastern Conference.
And as a result, Crowder told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn on Tuesday he deserves some cheering in his return to Boston.
Celtics fans cheering Gordon Hayward during a January 2017 meeting with the Utah Jazz is a little different, considering their cheers were an effort to lure Hayward to Boston in the offseason (something Crowder expressed his displeasure with in the moment). But that certainly doesn’t negate his point.
The Celtics gave Avery Bradley a tribute video in his TD Garden in November, resulting in a grand ovation from the crowd. Bradley was the longest-tenured member of the team until he was traded to the Detroit Pistons this offseason in exchange for Marcus Morris. Boston also gave Kelly Olynyk a tribute in his return this season as part of the “Heroes Among Us” initiative, recognizing his charity work while in Boston.
While there is no argument Crowder did plenty in his time in Boston, the TD Garden crowd can be fickle, so it’s anyone’s guess as to the reception he will receive.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images.