UPDATE (11/12/20): Vincent Poirier sat down with Tom Westerholm from MassLive and clarified some of his comments from his recent interview with We Sport. It seems as if some of Poirier’s comments were taken out of context and/or were lost in translation.
Poirier told MassLive: “I just told him I accepted the role I had this year, because obviously that’s what I deserved, because I didn’t show anything. But I think I worked. I think I understand the game, so I used this season to grow and to progress. I’m just saying that was cool, but as a competitor, as a man, as a basketball player, I want more. I’m not here just to be with the guys.
“So that’s why I said that. I said, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do two seasons like that,’ not because I think I don’t deserve it, just because I want more. Every basketball player in the world will tell you the same thing. It’s nothing personal against Brad, it’s nothing personal against the Celtics, it’s just like when you play in the NBA, you want more than to just be on the team.”
It seems as if what Poirier wants is a chance to compete. He understands that he didn’t show enough last season to earn a role. He also noted that it’s on him to show more this season to earn that opportunity.
Poirier also said he has texted with Brad Stevens to make sure they are on the same page, and that there are no issues. Poirier also made it clear he doesn’t want to leave Boston: “It’s nothing against the Celtics or the coach. That’s the basketball. That’s the best thing in the world. I can’t say nothing. We had a pretty good year, so I have nothing to say about them. It’s just my personal opinion of myself, about my situation, about what I want for me next season. ...
“I’ve never been that guy who trash talks about any team. The Celtics found me, welcomed me really well. I don’t want the fans to think I’m just here to take the money and leave, that I don’t give a f--- about the team or the fans.”
(Note: Parts of Vincent Poirier’s interview were translated via Google Translate.)
Poirier was asked about not playing much in his first season in Boston and said “I had a discussion with the coach (Brad Stevens) at the end of the season, I told him clearly that I had done a year in this role and that I understood the role and the club’s policy to want to win, and to play those who have deserved their place. I just told him that I will do a year like this but not two. I think that a first year is also made to help you discover, to take your marks, and that the second year is the one to prove things. I took it with that in mind and I’m ready for the second year.”
Poirier played in 22 games for Boston, logging just 130 minutes. This is following being a regular starter for high-end clubs in both France and Spain during the preceding four seasons.
When asked if he believes he should be in the Celtics rotation next season, Poirier said “I don’t know where I’ll be, but in my head it’s obvious that I’m not doing one more season at the end of the bench to applaud.”
When pressed if he wants to leave Boston, Poirier expressed no particular attachment to the city nor the Celtics saying “Boston is a city that I like. I like the players too. I would like us to win something together. After that, I am not attached to this club more than anything in the sense that I did not grow up with this club. It is not my dream club. But if I can stay and win a title with them I will. I am here to play, to be a competitor and not to just stay. I will have no remorse to leave.”
Poirier indicated he has no plans to ask for a release to head back overseas despite interest from clubs in Turkey, Spain and Russia. He also said he hopes to play for France in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.
Poirier spoke of his close relationships to many of the other French players in the NBA. He said his best friend in the league is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Poirier also spoke with fondness of being in the bubble with so many other players from France and their time spent together.
As for his Celtics teammates, Poirier said he was most impressed by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown this season: “(Tatum) really exploded and everything seemed extremely easy for him at the end of the season. There was also Jaylen Brown. Players that I see every day, who work a lot and it is largely thanks to them that we have come this far.”