BOSTON (CBS) — Jae Crowder showed public displeasure in the past over Celtics fans cheering Gordon Hayward – when the forward was playing for the Jazz. Now, Hayward is Crowder’s teammate and the latter will need to step up his game to keep starting and playing the same amount of minutes.
If Crowder remains on the Celtics roster to start the 2017-18 season, Brad Stevens’ plans to manage his playing time with Hayward will be one of the team’s most intriguing storylines to watch. Hayward will be a lock to start, but Stevens could possibly have them both on the floor if Crowder starts at the 4.
But if Crowder has to fight for playing time, he appears up to the challenge based on his reaction to some recent tweets.
CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely penned a column on Sunday wondering how Stevens will handle the minutes of everyone on the Celtics roster in 2017-18, especially his abundance of wing players like Hayward, Crowder, Jaylen Brown, and rookie No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum. Twitter user Daniel Kleiner responded to CSNNE’s tweet about the story on Monday with “Looks to me like [Crowder] will have significant less playing time or better yet be traded asap. Let these young birds fly!”
Crowder responded over 24 hours later to Kleiner, who has 36 Twitter followers, with a pair of “thinking face”emojis and “OK”.
Crowder followed up that tweet 39 minutes later with “LOVE ME OR HATE ME… BUT I SWEAR IT WONT MAKE ME OR BREAK ME.!!”
Crowder has started all 145 games he’s played in the past two seasons, averaging 32 minutes. It’s highly unlikely that Crowder would usurp Hayward, who signed a four-year max deal with the Celtics earlier this month, in terms of playing time. But it appears that Crowder will enter the season with no shortage of motivation to maximize his minutes.