ORLANDO - Following Thursday night’s loss to the Miami Heat, a video surfaced of a Boston Celtics timeout in the middle of the second quarter. Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown were seen exchanging words, followed by Brown giving Morris a shove. The two were separated by teammates, and the game continued.
Twitter naturally exploded over the incident, along with a stir across all social media platforms. After some expert detective work from media members, it was discovered that the scuffle took place during a timeout following a tough sequence for Boston.
The Celtics fail to convert on the 3-on-2, and Brown doesn’t get back on defense. This allows his man, Derrick Jones Jr. to slide into the paint for an easy transition layup. At the end of the clip, you can see Morris clap at Brown, clearly getting at him for his defensive effort.
On Saturday morning at the Amway Center, Morris downplayed the incident, saying that it was all basketball related, and the two of them have moved past it.
“Whatever happened was between me and my teammate,” said Morris. “It’s all basketball related. When you’re as competitive as we both are, tempers can get hot, that’s all it was. We moved past it after the timeout. I know everybody want to catch everything on camera, but you didn’t catch the stuff that happens afterwards, when we sat right beside each other and it was over.”
Morris has been known to get at teammates in the past regarding on-court happenings, but that’s just his role as one of the veteran, vocal leaders in this locker room. The 29-year-old mentioned that aspect at Saturday’s shootaround as well.
“I know social media going to make a big deal out of something like that,” added Morris. “But 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 nothing goes past the court. Just two guys that both care about the game. That’s all it was.”
Brown was singing the same tune, saying that the pair has moved past it. “Yeah, we spoke about it,” Brown said. “Moved on. Just focused on Orlando. Focused on playing some good basketball. Played some good basketball prior to Miami, so let’s get back to it.”
Brad Stevens said that sort of thing is bound to happen when you are part of a team for 82 games, adding that it wasn’t that big of a deal. He then took the humorous route, pointing out that Marcus Smart was the party to break up the incident.
“Everybody else was watching Marcus and Jaylen, how about Smart breaking it up?” said Stevens with a smile. “Talk about growth, holy smokes. I thought he’d be in the middle of one of those. ... You guys all looked at it as a negative, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
One message was clear - to get the best out of each other and be the best team they can be, teammates need to be able to be open with one another, and that’s exactly what occurred on Thursday night. It just so happens that there was a camera rolling.
This Marcus Morris comment epitomized that ideology: “To be the team we want to be, we have to be able to be open with each other. ... If it leads to a little bumping and pushing and shoving, I mean, what is it? It’s nothing. You move past that type of stuff. Keep going.”