Mike Gorman believes the Celtics currently are missing one of the most important pieces necessary for an NBA championship-caliber team.
After going on a bit of a hot streak, Boston has fallen back down to earth. The C’s on Sunday were steamrolled by the Charlotte Hornets and suffered arguably their most embarrassing loss of the season Tuesday at home against the putrid Oklahoma City Thunder.
Much of the Celtics’ struggles over the course of the campaign — including their most recent woes — have fallen on the shoulders of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Asked Wednesday whether the franchise cornerstones can be Boston’s leaders moving forward, Gorman, the longtime television voice of the C’s, delivered a fairly candid take.
“I don’t think so,” Gorman said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.” “I think we need someone right now who’s 28 to 30, who’s been around the league. I thought Kemba might be that guy, but he’s been constantly plagued with injuries. He’s never been given the opportunity or had the opportunity to play five, six, seven games in a row. It’s always can’t play the second night of a back-to-back. Something tweaking, now he’s got a hip problem. He’s not going to play tonight (Wednesday against the Hornets).
“So he’s been kind of snake-bitten from an injury point of view. I think they were looking at him as that presence of — again, a 28-to-30-year-old guy — who’s been around and can keep the guys, not so much in check, because I don’t think they’re out of control. But just take the responsibility off of them for being the leaders of the team and step forward and be the leader himself. Again, we just don’t have that guy. That’s where I come from.”
It’s unknown whether Danny Ainge feels the same way as Gorman. But if the C’s president of basketball operations harvests similar concerns about Tatum and Brown, perhaps it could be an active summer for the green.