The Celtics point guard wants you to know he put his entire heart into this run, letting his teammates be the stars and fostering a culture that at least gave Boston a chance to reach an NBA Finals so many had predicted.
It was the wrong point guard, though.
“I don’t give a f–k what nobody say, I sacrificed the most out of anybody,” Terry Rozier told Yahoo Sports after the Celtics were knocked out in Game 5 on Wednesday night, the Bucks advancing to the Eastern Conference finals and Boston’s weird season mercifully ending.
Thus ends and begins the Kyrie Irving circus, his October proclamation that he would be signing long term in Boston long forgotten. Irving wanted his own team, wanted out of LeBron James’ shadow, and got it. But little leadership was on display this season, his shot disappeared against Milwaukee and the Celtics’ jumble of talent never jelled.
“It wasn’t easy on [coach Brad Stevens] dealing with a lot of guys that want to be great, trying to get theirs,” said Rozier, who’s set to be a restricted free agent.
It almost doesn’t matter whether Rozier was calling out Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward. The experiment failed, and now a team that was supposed to be built for the present and future has no present and a murky future.
Rozier had taken a backseat to Irving a season after leading Boston to the Eastern Conference finals on a team with injured star power. The stars returned but the magic didn’t, and Rozier was ineffective in limited time. He averaged 18 minutes per game this postseason, with just 6.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
“It was tough, dealing with all the talent we had, different guys wanted to be in the limelight, guys in the limelight, s–t like that,” he told reporters. “It’s been a lot.”
For Irving, too. The Knicks and Nets and so much of the NBA beckon.
“There’s no time to be disappointed,” Irving said. “You move on. … It’s moving on to the next thing and seeing where that ends up.”
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