BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics season is officially upon us.
The team tipped off the 2018-19 season on Monday with their media day in Canton, and as always, the day brought us plenty of clippings and one-liners to get fired up for the new season. Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving are healthy and back to wearing green, rejoining veteran Al Horford and rising stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for what should be the start of something fantastic. Everyone is eager to get things going, and it really won’t be long until we see them all take the court again, as Boston opens their preseason slate Friday night in Charlotte.
As is usually the case with media day, there is quite a bit to digest. Not only do you have Kyrie talking (or not talking) about his future, but you have Hayward returning from that gruesome opening night injury last season, plus all the other …. “interesting” personalities up and down the Boston roster. Here’s a quick roundup of all the fun from Celtics media day (so far).
Confidence Is Sky High
It’s hard not to feel a growing sense of confidence in the team, given the fact they were one win away from making it to the NBA Finals despite being without their two biggest stars. Now that Tatum and Brown have emerged, Horford continues to be Mr. Everything, and Hayward and Irving are healthy and rejoining the mix, it’s Finals or bust for the C’s.
Chances are the Celtics would have been demolished by the Golden State Warriors had they now completely blown Game 7 to LeBron James and the Cavaliers. The same may be true come this June. The Warriors are a wagon, and this Celtics squad hasn’t won anything together (yet).
But Tatum and others aren’t letting the Warriors’ absurd resume from the last five years scare them off.
“Obviously, they’re the defending champs. Everybody respects them. We respect them. We believe in ourselves and the guys that we have in the locker room. It’s a long season, but if we start tomorrow, we feel we can compete with anybody in a seven-game series,” said Tatum. “It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be tough. But I believe in our team.”
Are you fired up yet?
That could would be raising another banner.
Tatum Has A Different Look
Not a new hairstyle or wild new tattoos (he has those, you just can’t see them), but a different look in his eyes when he takes the floor.
The rest of the NBA better watch out.
Kyrie Clearly Thinking About Leaving
Kyrie’s future is going to be talked about a lot this season. But on Monday, he certainly didn’t sound like a player getting ready to leave Boston, praising the franchise for the position they currently find themselves in.
“This franchise is really built for the next few years of being at the top tier of teams in the league. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? What more could you ask for from an organization to really elevate your game,” he said. “When you want to be on the same lineage of greatness as the guys that have come before you, there are times where I have thought about having No. 11 in the rafters, hopefully, one day. That’s a dream. It wasn’t so much like that coming out but it’s the truth. I feel that way about my teammates, I feel that way about the organization and I’m looking forward to the challenge this year.”
Irving later added: “I believe Boston is the place for me.”
Yeah, that certainly sounds like a guy with one foot out the door. They may as well start printing Knicks Irving jerseys now.
Jaylen Out To Silence The Haters
Jaylen Brown had a breakout year in his second NBA season, but he still has a lot to work on to get to that next level. Brown is a smart kid and knows this, so over the summer, he worked on the areas he struggled in the most: ballhandling and free throws.
“Some of the things people have critiqued me on in the past,” he told reporters. “It’ll be interesting if they think they can critique me this year.”
Smart Opens Up A Little More On Mom’s Passing
Marcus Smart lost his mother to bone marrow cancer last week, opening up about her passing on Twitter. He went a little further Monday, saying that basketball is his escape from reality.
“I look at basketball like a storm, but it’s the eye of the storm. The calmest place to be is in the eye of it,” he told reporters. “[I play like] every day could be my last day and if it was, would I be proud of what I accomplished in my time here?”
Smart said he has a great family within the Celtics organization, which has helped him greatly during this difficult time.
Things Got A Little Scary With Terry Rozier
Rozier said he doesn’t really like the Scary Terry nickname. But he played along Monday, posing for a photo while wearing the famous Scream mask. Chances are that nickname won’t be going away anytime soon.
There’s A New Nickname For Boston’s Bench
And it’s amazing.
New Jersey For Morris
Not only is Morris coming up with fancy new nicknames, but he’s also a new dad. So now he’ll be sporting a jersey with Morris Sr. on the back, one of the hottest new trends in pro sports.
Daniel Theis Is Fully Healthy
Remember big man Daniel Theis? Remember him?!?! Well he’s fully recovered from a torn meniscus that ended his season in March.
Boston’s B.W.A. is going to be so darn deep this season.
It sounds like center Aron Baynes went on a bit of a burger binge over the offseason. But fear not, it will not mean a lot of extra lbs for the big man.
Now if only Baynes would give out his secret to eating all those burgers without ballooning his body fat…