Smart was seen screaming expletives, storming out of the locker room, and was reluctant to speak to the media following the team’s dust-up. Although he wasn’t the only Celtics player who declined to go on camera, Smart’s tirade resonated as news of the team’s locker room blowout broke moments before head coach Brad Stevens combed through questioning.
Without the context of what triggered the huge spat between players, it’s difficult to decipher the underlying issue. Jaylen Brown, who drained 2-of-3 from behind the arc inside the final minute of the fourth quarter and nearly forced Game 2 into overtime, chalked up the incident as something that happens with a team full of emotion.
“A lot of emotions are flying around, obviously,” Brown said. “I feel like we could have won, should have won and we didn’t so there’s a lot of emotions flying around. That’s it.”
Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum reminded reporters why he was unable to reveal what was said in the team locker and whether they win or lose, team confidentiality remains sacred.
“We’re not supposed to come out here and talk about what we talked about as a team after a win or a loss,” Tatum said. “That’s why we go into the locker room and talk to each other, win or lose.”
Jaylen Brown: ‘That’s Marcus Smart, That’s Why We Love Him’
While Game 1 marked the first time the Celtics have trailed in a series this postseason, Game 2 Thursday night made Boston’s proverbial hill much steeper. And after Smart was the only player mentioned by witnesses, Marcus’ name came up constantly in Stevens’ and every other Celtics player’s media availability.
However, Brown, instead of revealing details of what ensued between the Celtics players, spoke to Smart’s character and how much it means to Boston and its identity.
“That’s Marcus Smart, that’s why we love him; he plays with passion,” Brown said. “He’s full of fire and that’s what I love about him most, to be honest. He has that desire, that will, and we need him to continue to have that. There’s ups and downs with families all the time but we embrace each other; who we are and who Marcus is, I love him for it. We’ve got to be ready to come back with that same fire and add it to Game 3.”
Jaylen Brown’s ‘Ready for Game 3’
When asked about what he thinks it’s going to take to keep his team motivated, Brown showed zero concern. He is eager for the start of Saturday’s Game 3 showdown.
“We’re in the conference finals, that’s all we need to hear, that’s all it takes,” Brown said. “Both games we had moments where we had lapses and that team (Heat) over there is together for 48 minutes and we got to be together for 48 minutes and that’s that. I think we have yet to do that. I think we’re capable, think we need everybody to be all in, and continue to bring that energy. It’s what we’re going to need but I think this series is far from over.
“I’m ready for Game 3, I’m ready to come out because, you know, that’s what it’s all about. Backs against the wall, ups, downs; fight regardless.”