How disappointing was the Boston Celtics' 2018-19 season?
Well, we're two days away from the 2019-20 campaign, and former Celtics are still talking about the season that went sideways.
Veteran forward Marcus Morris, who left Boston to join the Knicks in free agency this past summer, was asked recently if he foresees similar chemistry issues arising on a New York squad where minutes could be at a premium.
Morris responded by insisting these Knicks are different than last season's Celtics -- because they don't have Kyrie Irving.
"We don’t have that one guy where it’s like, okay, he’s first,” Morris told the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. “It’s a team thing. No knock on Ky, but obviously he’s a superstar, he’s first. Sometimes his emotions were put in front of the team.
"I think here, we’re all transparent with each other. We can all go up to each other and be honest with each other. That’s the biggest thing, when you can go out and speak to your brother."
That certainly sounds like a knock on Irving, who was accused of taking veiled shots at his Celtics teammates -- especially "the young guys" -- in conversations with the media.
Boston's chemistry issues, Morris admitted, were partly caused by circumstance: Injuries to Irving and Gordon Hayward in 2017-18 gave more opportunity to young players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, who had to take a back seat the following season when the veterans returned.
"Kyrie goes down, we finish the season with a lot of young guys. Everybody knows their role," Morris added. "So when he comes back, it’s hard for everybody to take a step back."
Morris doesn't see a similar situation happening in New York, which doesn't boast a true "star" player. That's ironically thanks to Irving, who along with Kevin Durant spurned the Knicks to join the rival Brooklyn Nets in free agency.
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