BOSTON -- When what by most accounts was disastrous 2018-2019 season for the Boston Celtics finally came to an end, Terry Rozier did not hold back in voicing his opinion on why things so wrong.
So it was no surprise that when the dust finally settled on his future, it would be with another team, the Charlotte Hornets.
Rozier returns to the TD Garden for the first time as a member of a team besides the Celtics.
And while things certainly didn’t end the way anyone involved would have wanted, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens still looks back fondly on his time as Rozier’s head coach.
“Terry and I spent a few discussions last year where obviously, he was frustrated,” Stevens said. “I don’t think he ever let it affect how he came out and worked and competed. I thought that was always something I appreciated about him.”
After Rozier came to terms on a three-year, $56.7 million sign-and-trade deal with Charlotte, Stevens was among the first to reach out to Rozier and congratulate him on the deal.
“It was fun to text back and forth and see his reaction,” Stevens recalled. “I was excited for him. He was such a fun person to be around and coach in his young years in the NBA. He’s going to be a really good player for a long time.”
There were quite a few “Good Terry” moments in Boston, like his strong 2018 postseason run in which he averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds while playing 36.6 minutes per game. That postseason run included a 26-point, nine assists, six-rebound performance in Boston’s Game 7 first-round win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
And there were some forgettable moments as well, with none being any worse than his 2-for-14 shooting performance in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference finals which was easily the worst playoff performance of his career.
But on Sunday, he returns with a new team, a new contract and a new target - the Celtics - as part of the perpetual chip that he always plays with.
And his ex-teammates can’t wait to see him.
“It’s going to be a great game, exciting game, to see my brother,” Boston’s Robert Williams III told NBC Sports Boston.
Indeed, Rozier’s now-former teammates still see him as part of the family even if he’s playing for another team.
“We’re always going to have that connection,” Williams III said. “Teams change, but the brotherhood doesn’t.”
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