Jayson Tatum didn’t allow the end of Ime Udoka’s run with Boston to divide the Celtics locker room last season.

Udoka’s abrupt departure from the team, which came following the former Celtics head coach allegedly had an improper relationship with a staffer, came fresh off Boston’s 2022 NBA Finals appearance. The C’s were booked for another deep run with hopes high, but that conversation was delayed, courtesy of Udoka’s costly conduct.

Tatum recalled rallying the troops to get Boston refocused on the bigger picture during an appearance on “Cold As Balls” with comedian Kevin Hart.

“We found out two days before training camp that we’re gonna have a new coach. I remember I talked to the team and I was like, ‘Yo, we have a decision to make: we can either separate or we could bring us together,” Tatum told Hart. “And I think we just made a conscious decision that (is) going to make us tougher and better.”

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Year 1 amid Boston’s life without Udoka transition didn’t go as planned. The breakup, while ugly for Udoka, clearly impacted the Celtics too with Boston abandoning its defensive identity and instead resorting to a lousy 3-point-chucking offense. That ultimately led to the team’s elimination from the playoffs, which went down in embarrassing fashion in the Eastern Conference finals to a No. 8-seeded Miami Heat team.

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Meanwhile, Udoka found a new gig and was named head coach of the Houston Rockets before the 2023-24 campaign.

Sliding into considerable MVP conversation for the better chunk of last season, Tatum and the C’s will need a similar mindset heading into Opening Night with a new-look roster and coaching staff.

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images