BOSTON — Should the 2022-23 Celtics claim the organization’s long-awaited Banner 18, they might have a classic Boston movie to thank.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla met with the media Sunday after Boston’s Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers wearing a Nike sweatshirt with the slogan, “Whose car we gonna take?” Chances are fans rooting for the Green were able to connect the line to the 2010 Boston-based film “The Town” starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner.
What they might not have known, though, is Mazzulla’s sweatshirt represents a mantra of sorts for the 2022-23 Celtics.
“It’s something we’ve talked about, it’s definitely something we’ve talked about,” Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon told NESN.com on Tuesday after the team’s practice at the Auerbach Center, one day before facing the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
“I think it’s ‘Whose car are we taking?’ I think that’s the saying,” Brogdon said. “And it’s basically just ride or die for your guys, the guys you’re on the court with, the guys you’re competing with. It’s having the mentality it doesn’t matter what we’re going to get into, we’re going to do it together.”
That was the meaning of the message when Affleck’s character, Doug MacRay, told Renner’s character, James Coughlin, he needed his help but couldn’t provide any further details. Surely, those with green in their blood know how it transpires in the thriller.
Brogdon said the Celtics haven’t watched the movie as a team, but a handful of players are aware of the scene.
“I think guys have seen it, but not as a team,” Brogdon said.
A smirking Mazzulla was tight-lipped on the subject of his black sweatshirt with white font when NESN.com asked about it Tuesday. However, the Celtics’ first-year coach previously told NBC Sports Boston’s Brian Scalabrine he watched the movie four times per week. Mazzulla related it to “a Boston mindset.”
Jaylen Brown played coy on the subject, as well.
“I’m not sure,” Brown told NESN.com. “Joe does a bunch of crazy stuff all the time, so who knows what’s on Joe’s mind.”
The Celtics have their next opportunity to showcase that ride-or-die mindset Wednesday when they welcome the Heat to TD Garden. Boston currently is a considerable betting favorite in the best-of-seven series opener, and would greatly benefit if it resembled Affleck’s “not (expletive) around crew,” as it did in the winner-take-all finale against the 76ers.