Skip to main content

Celtics held an "emotional players-only meeting" after Marcus Smart's comments

Jaylen Brown Jayson Tatum

Jaylen Brown Jayson Tatum

After every single bit of Boston Celtics' early-season drama got publicized -- from coach calling out players to teammates going at each other in post-game press conferences -- the players decided to deal with their issues internally.

Players-only meeting

Ahead of Wednesday's 92-79 win over the Magic, the Celtics' held a players-only meeting after a disappointing, controversy-filled start to the season. The meeting, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, was initiated as a result of Boston's fourth-quarter meltdown Monday against Chicago, followed by Marcus Smart'spost-game bashing of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown -- he called them out for not willing to pass the ball.

The three of them discussed both the collapse and Smart's comments in an environment that, according to Basketball News, got emotional at times. And while it's not clear exactly what was said during the meeting, judging by yesterday's win in Orlando to snap a three-game losing streak, it seems to have worked in the short term.

"The last few days, we've just been focused on Orlando," Brown said after the game. "That was the goal: Come out, try to get a win. That was it. Team meeting, just an opportunity to talk as a group, get some communication going in, and move forward."

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Despite keeping the content of the meeting a secret, Brown did address Smart's comments after a historically bad loss to the Bulls -- the 1st time in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) that a team lost by 14+ points after leading by 14+ entering the 4th quarter, according to ESPN Stats&Info.

Obviously in the midst of trying to win games, it's something that we probably didn't need. But we all communicate and talk to each other. So we're always trying to find ways to win and I'm open to any and everything when guys bring it to me, coaching staff. I'm always watching film trying to better myself and be a better basketball player and find ways to make my teammates better. So it felt good to get a win today.

Jaylen Brown, ESPN

Can the Celtics bounce back?

After beating Orlando, the Celtics are now 3-5, sitting as the 12 seed in the East. Their disappointing start to the season has been overshadowed by internal troubles, but after addressing those in yesterday's meeting, the Cs should be ready to turn things around. Talent-wise, their team should be much better than 3-5. But each of their most important contributors has in some way been affected by early-season struggles.

Despite averaging 24.3 points per game, Jayson Tatum is having his most inefficient shooting run from the floor (38.3%) and three-point line (27.1%). Brown dropped 46 in a season opener against the Knicks but has been inconsistent since -- Ime Udoka described some of his drop-offs as "mind boggling." Smart is only shooting 30.3% from the floor, and Dennis Schröder, despite averaging 13.3 PPG off the bench, is struggling with efficiency as well (36.3% FG).

Each of these guys should play better. The Celtics defense should be better -- their defensive rating is only 18th, despite having a top-level defensive talent on the roster. Their first-year NBA coach should also be better. But it's only been a few years, and Udoka, as well as the entire Celtics organization, deserve more time.

What we've seen thus far is troubling. But there is enough talent in Boston to turn things around.

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons

Brooklyn Nets reveal "summer plan" to fix setbacks with Ben Simmons which includes mental health

The Nets reportedly have come up with a promising plan to help Simmons. We'll believe it when we see it.

Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, guard Michael Jordan, forward Toni Kukoc, and center Dennis Rodman

That time Phil Jackson made the Chicago Bulls watch “The Wizard of Oz” in practice to send a message

You gotta respect the Zen Master's innovative methods to get his team's head in the game.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum

“That’s why he gets paid the big bucks” — Jayson Tatum refused to let the Boston Celtics lose Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks

Tatum finally stepped up and outdueled Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 to force a winner takes all Game 7

NBA and Hennessy created one-of-kind basketball court in Taiwan

Exclusive Footage: NBA and Hennessy created a one-of-kind basketball court in Taiwan

Hennessy and the NBA are bringing a different kind of experience to basketball fans all over the world by mounting basketball courts in areas least expected.

Kevin Love on why he left Team USA: They threw me under the bus and I didn’t like that

Kevin Love reveals the real reason why he quit Team USA

Kevin Love and Jerry Colangelo's relationship soured after the forward left Team USA. Now, Love airs his side on the matter and what he felt like betrayal from people he trusted.

Nike and Kyrie Irving set to part ways if availability issues continue

Nike and Kyrie Irving are set to part ways if availability issues continue

If Kyrie Irving's vaccination status doesn't change, it looks like Nike will have no choice but to end its partnership with him.

Chris Paul has been historically bad when his teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the playoffs, and it’s happening again against the Dallas Mavericks

Chris Paul has been historically bad when his teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the playoffs, and it’s happening again against the Dallas Mavericks

Chris Paul has squandered four 2-0 series leads throughout his career, and his struggles against Dallas Mavs are a reason why that number may be bumped up to five