Marcus Smart made some emotional comments after a recent Boston Celtics loss that took the city by storm.
The point guard had good points about their offense, but perhaps a postgame availability with reporters wasn’t the best time or place to call out his teammates. And despite Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka’s best attempts to diffuse the situation before Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic, the narrative took a new turn thanks to reports of a players-only meeting before the win.
So unsurprisingly, the Celtics were greeted with questions about it after the much-needed win.
“We had a gathering, you know, team dinner,” Al Horford said, joining coach Udoka in downplaying the situation as a previously scheduled team dinner.
“It’s nice to break bread together, you know, hang out. Most importantly, (we) talked about making sure that we come out here and have a good outing tonight.”
It was nice for Horford to face the fire yet again, but he wasn’t one of the players people were waiting to hear from since everything transpired.
Fortunately, Jaylen Brown finally got a chance to respond to Smart’s criticism about him and Jayson Tatum — or at least, how the Celtics offense is run through them.
“Obviously in the midst of trying to win games it’s something that we probably didn’t need, but no, we all communicate and talk to each other,” Brown said. “So we’re all trying to find ways to win and I’m open to any and everything. When guys bring it to me, coaches, staff, I’m always watching film trying to better myself, be a better basketball player, find ways to make my teammates better. So it felt good to get a win today.”
As for the meeting?
“Just an opportunity to talk as a group,” Brown said. “Get some communication going in and move forward. We’ve been playing basketball together for a long time, all of us, especially our core group. So when it comes down to it, it’s all about trying to find ways to win. And that’s what most of the conversation was about.”
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the meeting wasn’t particularly productive or beneficial, though they did finally get the win. Brown referred to it as open communication.
It makes you wonder, who in the franchise leaked the news to ESPN in the first place?