Terry Rozier continues to leave no doubt he’s entering his first season in Charlotte with a massive chip on his shoulder.
The former Celtics guard, who joined the Hornets this offseason in a sign-and-trade that sent Kemba Walker to Boston, is about to become a full-time starter for the first time in his NBA career and can’t wait to prove his doubters wrong.
“I’m pissed off about a lot of stuff,” Rozier told The Charlotte Observer this week. “I want to prove myself again.”
Rozier will face immense pressure with his new organization thanks to the three-year, $58 million contract he signed and the shoes he’ll be filling as Charlotte’s starting point guard. Walker, a three-time All-Star, is the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer and a highly regarded competitor who earned a very positive reputation in his eight seasons with the franchise.
Don’t tell that to Rozier, though. Not only is he embracing the challenge of playing more minutes as a consistent starter. He’s also hell-bent on showing everyone he’s his own man; not simply Walker’s replacement.
“I’m not Kemba. I’m not coming in here acting like I’m Kemba. I’m Terry,” Rozier said, per The Observer.
“I respect the hell out of Kemba: When I play against him, I’m going to give him my best, and I know I’ll get his best. But Kemba? I don’t want to hear it. Don’t talk to me about Kemba.”
There’s obviously an edginess to Rozier’s game, and it’s served him well for most of his basketball career. Although he regressed in 2018-19, his fourth season with the Celtics, Rozier no longer has Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving or anyone else blocking him on the depth chart. And the 25-year-old is confident he’ll make the most of the opportunity, whether people like it or not.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images