The Boston Celtics held an “emotional” players-only meeting on Wednesday afternoon, not even eight games into the new season.
The meeting, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, was held as a result of both the Celtics’ brutal collapse in their loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday and because of Marcus Smart’s comments after the game — in which he called out both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum directly.
Smart, Tatum and Brown all spoke during the meeting, which was reportedly emotional at times, both about the loss and Smart’s comments.
Though it’s not clear exactly what was said in the players-only meeting, it seems to have worked in the short term.
The Celtics beat the Orlando Magic 92-79 on Wednesday night, which snapped a three-game losing skid.
“The last few days, we’ve just been focused on Orlando,” Brown said after the win, via ESPN. “That was the goal: Come out, try to get a win. That was it. Team meeting, just an opportunity to talk as a group, get some communication going in, and move forward.
“At the end of the day, we’ve been playing basketball together for a long time, all of us, especially our core group. So when it comes down to it, it’s all about trying to find ways to win, and that’s what the conversation was about, et cetera. The last two days, we’ve just been focused on Orlando, and now we’re focused on Miami.”
Smart calls out teammates after Bulls loss
After what happened Monday night at TD Garden, it’s easy to see why the Celtics were so upset.
Boston led Chicago by 14 points headed into the fourth quarter. The Celtics, though, only put up 11 points in that final period en route to their 128-114 loss.
Smart directly called out Brown and Tatum after that loss when speaking to reporters for hogging the ball.
“Every team knows we’re trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen,” he said Monday, via ESPN. “Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball … It’s something we’ve been asking them to do, and they’re learning. We just gotta continue to help those guys do that to help our team.”
Though he’s not disagreeing with Smart’s point, Brown said Wednesday that Smart’s comments to reporters didn’t help the situation any.
“Obviously in the midst of trying to win games, it’s something that we probably didn’t need,” Brown said, via ESPN. “But we all communicate and talk to each other. So we’re always trying to find ways to win and I’m open to any and everything when guys bring it to me, coaching staff. I’m always watching film trying to better myself and be a better basketball player and find ways to make my teammates better.”
After blowing a lead against the Chicago Bulls and Marcus Smart’s comments calling out his teammates, the Celtics held a players-only meeting on Wednesday. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)