The Celtics season may have come to a merciful conclusion last week but the finger pointing of what went wrong in 2019 has just begun.
One of the more prominent players that has been happy to speak on that topic in recent weeks is Terry Rozier. The reserve guard has made numerous appearances on podcasts and ESPN in the past two months and he made his first appearance since Game 5 on ESPN’s Get Up show on Tuesday morning in a one-on-one interview with Mike Greenberg, before appearing in several other shows throughout the day, including First Take.
Rozier spoke highly of Kyrie Irving in his first interview but sent a couple of veiled shots his way when talking about the challenges of playing with him.
"He's a great guy. Great leader. You just have to adjust to his style," Rozier said. "Whatever Kyrie wants done, he's gonna show it. That's what he wants done. And you have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game every day."
The 24-year-old also highlighted the problem in playing with Irving when referencing the team’s issues executing on the court.
“I think we all had that ultimate goal,” Rozier said. “I think guys, me, Jayson, Jaylen, we had a terrific postseason last year. We were trying to do the same thing this year. I think we all just felt good about it, having practice, our discussions, film talk, but every time we get into the game it’s just that -- I wouldn’t say we wouldn’t follow the gameplan but it would be different. We didn’t go through what our goals were that we had.”
Pressed on what he meant by that later in the interview, Rozier seemingly questioned the rotation and how some (Irving) veered away from the gameplan.
“We would come in the game and it would be a different game plan than what we kind of expected and kind of went through in practice, so it was different," Rozier admitted.
“We would have our first five, then we had a second five, and then when we go out there, I feel like a lot of guys would be mixed up,” Rozier continued. “It wouldn’t be the first five, the second five. What we talked about in practice is not what we went through in the game. It’s like, ‘Alright, we’re going to keep Kyrie out there and we’re going to put other guys out there with him, and we’re going to figure it out.’”
He later referenced Gordon Hayward’s treatment factoring into his own struggles, noting, "The ball in was either Kyrie or Gordon Hayward's hands most of the time. So, I feel like Terry Rozier is just in the corner or on the bench."
One week after indicating that he felt like he had sacrificed more than anyone on the roster, Rozier doubled down on that stance, pointing out that "Anybody in my position would think it’s tough.”
With Rozier hitting restricted free agency later in July, he was pressed about his future in Boston.
“I’m looking forward to just play ball,” Rozier said. “I don’t care where I go. Obviously the Celtics is the only organization I knew for four years. I love it there, and we just have to go from there. ... I expect for me to get my chance, whether it’s with the Celtics or it’s anywhere else. I feel like I can be myself and play my game wherever I go.”
He was asked later in the program though about the possibility of coming back with this current roster intact and threw cold water on the idea.
"I might have to go. I put up with a lot this year. I said what I said after the season. I think we all know that I'm not trying to step into that again."
This thing was a doozy as Rozier made several appearances on First Take over the course of three hours. Let’s try to break down the turmoil with some thoughts on a morning that may follow Rozier around for the rest of his career.
1. Rozier is trying to talk his way out of town: It’s pretty evident with all of these public statements that Rozier