ORLANDO — Celtics forward Marcus Morris said he felt it was important as one of the leaders of the team to voice his frustrations to Jaylen Brown leading to the on-court flareup that was caught on camera by a fan and spread widely on social media.
Both Morris and Brown downplayed the incident while addressing reporters for the first time at the team’s shootaround Saturday in Orlando, where the C's play the Magic Saturday night, but Morris stressed that open communication is important in order for the Celtics to achieve their lofty goals.
Marcus Morris: "I feel as though I'm one of the leaders on this team so if I have an engagement with any of my teammates, we all know that it's basketball related and it goes nothing past the court. Just two guys that both care about the game and that's all it was." pic.twitter.com/gDOeXkJYO4— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) January 12, 2019
Jaylen Brown on the timeout flareup with Marcus Morris: "Nothing major. Let it go. Move on." pic.twitter.com/h3a4rk3Hv5— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) January 12, 2019
"To be a good team and the team we want to be, we have to be able to be open with each other and be able to discuss stuff that’s going on on the court,” said Morris. "If it leads to a little bumping and pushing and shoving, what is it? It’s nothing. You get past that type of stuff and keep going.
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"I mean the shoving and all that, that didn’t have to happen. But definitely when stuff is not going right or you want something to be said. You have to. That’s not the first time guys on this team openly went at each other. It just so happened somebody was recording. It is what it is. I don’t want to speak about it no more. We moved past it that day after that timeout. We’re moving forward.”
Brown and Morris sat next to each other as the players put on their sneakers at shootaround and stressed that both sides had moved on almost immediately during the game.
"Nothing major. Let it go. Move on,” Brown said, then repeated multiple times in his turn with reporters.
Morris said that the two players squashed any bad vibes, including sitting next to each other later in the game. In the bigger picture, Morris wants teammates to feel comfortable voicing concerns regardless if it might hurt feelings.
"How do you put yourself in the position of being able to compete for a championship if you’re not open and honest with each other?” said Morris. "I’m one of the leaders of this team so anytime I say something I think all I’m doing is trying to help each other, and I think Jaylen understands that.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens echoed that sentiment, noting that all of his players should feel empowered to speak up.
"Everybody feels comfortable doing that. The younger guys should feel comfortable doing that as well,” said Stevens. "It’s not a young and old thing when you’re on a team, it’s how do you get the most out of each person on the team. So we talked about it a little bit [Friday], we met when we got [to Orlando], both guys were the first people to say it’s not a big deal. Both guys wish that wouldn’t have happened with cameras watching but I think at the end of the day those are part of the team.”
Added Stevens: "I think when you’re part of a team for 82 games it’s not that big of a deal. I mean, [I’ve] been through a lot of different teams, some of which have taken time to become a team, some of which have been a team from day one and they’ve all had moments like that at one time or another whether the cameras were on or not.”
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