Former Celtic Rips Into Boston For ‘Huge Failure’ This Season

Brian Scalabrine didn't hold back


May 31, 2023

At the beginning of this season, and at points throughout it, the Boston Celtics discussed how they were motivated to right their wrongs from their NBA Finals appearance a year ago.

And turns out that was all talk, at least that’s what former Celtic and 2008 NBA champion Brian Scalabrine believes.

The Celtics were plagued by inconsistency and committed many of last season’s mistakes in this year’s conference finals, which resulted in Boston bowing out to the Miami Heat in seven games. Scalabrine, who also is team broadcaster for NBC Sports Boston, didn’t hold back his criticism of the Celtics, ripping into them for their inability to back up their words.

“To me that was a lot of lip service. It wasn’t a redemption tour. It wasn’t unfinished business. It wasn’t any of those things,” Scalabrine said Wednesday on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego” show. “… I just felt like this team should have won a championship. I’ve never seen a group this talented, with this much versatility, in a league that values wing versatility, they had it all. So, I think this is a huge failure.”

Scalabrine pointed out how the Spurs were “possessed” following their 2013 NBA Finals lost, in which San Antonio coughed up a lead in Game 6 due to a clutch 3-pointer from Ray Allen, and bounced back by winning the title the next season. But the response by the Celtics wasn’t remotely the same.

Boston’s quest to get back to the Finals got off to a rocky start due to the Ime Udoka scandal. The Celtics issued a season-long suspension to Udoka just prior to the start of training camp for violations of team policy. But Scalabrine suggested that might not have been the only turbulent patch the Celtics had to get through this season.

“The stuff coming out, you guys don’t know what this group went through,” Scalabrine said. “Maybe they went through a lot. Maybe there will be a lot of stuff that comes out in the next month or so.”

Some of what Scalabrine hinted at started to trickle out when the Celtics got into a 3-0 series deficit to the Heat. Scalabrine’s colleague and former teammate Eddie House believed the Celtics “quit” on Joe Mazzulla in Game 3 of the conference finals and Mazzulla came out after that game and admitted to a disconnect in the Celtics locker room. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor also reported the Celtics were “tired of fake liking each other.”

And all that could just be the start of it given what Scalabrine insinuated.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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