On to the next game.
That is the Celtics’ mindset, win or lose.
That same approach applies to player-on-player tiffs like the one between Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 117-104 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night.
The two got into a very public shouting match with veteran Jae Crowder playing the role of mediator in separating the two.
Ahead of tonight’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn, both players shrugged off the incident as not being that big a deal.
“It was two passionate guys, at the end of the day, want to win,” Brown told CSN’s Abby Chin Friday morning. “It was nothing, really. Just came out, we got a win [against Minnesota] and we’re going to get a win tonight.”
Smart added, “We had different views on things, like any other team. And you know it's over with and it's on to the next one.”
When asked about what the disagreement was about, Smart said, “That was between me and Jaylen. Nothing that was life threatening, or something like everybody's blowing it up to be. It was just two guys, every team everybody argues. That's just how it is. It's like when you have a brother or sister, you argue. That's how it is. You move on from it before you make it a bigger deal than it is.”
This wasn’t the first time Celtics players had disagreed with one another resulting in a back-and-forth shooting match, but it was rare to see it happen publicly.
“It happens all the time,” Crowder told reporters on Friday. “Just got a little chippy on the court with professionals. We handled it like we’re supposed to in the locker room, addressed it and that was it.”
Crowder added, “You've got to be a professional. Stuff like that happens all the time. But you have to move onto the next play. We've got good guys who can help those guys get to the next play. We just came in the locker room. Squashed it and let those guys get it out and move on.”
More than anything, fans witnessed two highly competitive, still-young NBA players let a disagreement get a bit out of hand.
But the competitiveness which drove the disagreement, players say, bodes well for the players involved, as well as the Celtics, going forward.
“You want to keep that,” Smart said. “It shows that you're locked in. That you care. That you're passionate about the game. I've been around guys with no emotion and that's the worst. When you just have no emotion about things.”
So him and Brown, you guys are good now right?
“Yeah. We've been talking. Everything's cool,” Smart said. “We've been laughing with each other. Everything's fine. It's just, everybody's trying to take it out of proportion of with it is. But that's life, that's the world we live in. Things are gonna be, you say one thing and people take it and try to make it into something else. So, we know, being this team in general, we know what's really going on and we're good. So all that other things that's going on outside is a distraction, so we ain't really worried about it.”
Brown said he too has left the incident where it’s at – in the past.
“I let it go. I’m passionate about the game. I want to win, too,” Brown said. “We’re heading into the playoffs. There’s stuff we have to clean up as a team. I think confrontation and arguments are going to happen. It’s a part of the game. Moving forward, I think it’s a good thing. We should be better for it.”