There are a lot of storylines to follow right now when it comes to the Boston Celtics. What is going to happen with Ime Udoka? Will Robert Williams be able to return from injury on time? Can Joe Mazzulla handle the head coaching gig?
Notice a theme?
Unfortunately, the Celtics are clouded with negativity at the moment. It’s not by choice. The current circumstances have almost forced the fanbase to take a negative outlook on the team. Despite having just been to the Finals for the first time in 12 years, disaster struck in the offseason.
But what if we turn back the clocks for a moment? Yes, the offseason has been brutal for the past two weeks, but earlier this summer, things looked great for Boston. Obviously, the Danilo Gallinari signing took an abrupt turn for the worse, but that wasn’t the only addition the Celtics made.
On July 9, the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon via trade without giving up any core rotation pieces. At the time, the move took the Celtics from a team that fell just short of an NBA Championship to a team that’s gearing up for another title run on full-throttle.
And while other incidents have since taken the spotlight away from the Brogdon addition, it still happened. Brogdon is still a Celtic, and he’s still ready to help this team compete for a title. A couple of months and one haircut later, Brogdon spoke to the masses for the second time since being traded to Boston while at Celtics Media Day.
He revealed that not only was he ecstatic to join the Celtics, but he actually chose them. The Indiana Pacers gave him some options, but he chose Boston for one simple reason - he wants to win.
“Brad Stevens gave me the option, and the Pacers did me really well. They gave me the option of picking between a few teams, and I picked Boston because I want to win,” Brogdon stated. “It doesn’t matter if I’m the sixth man or whatever role I’m playing, I’m going to accept it, I’m going to thrive in it, and embrace it. Because I want to add on to what this team has. This team has a great unit, great chemistry, they were on the verge of winning a championship, as we saw, and needed a little bit more. So I want to come and add on to what’s already going on here.”
Brogdon spent the first few years of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks before joining the Pacers during the 2019 offseason. While he hasn’t been able to stay on the court as consistently as he may like, his impact when he plays is undeniable. In 36 appearances with the Pacers this past year, Brogdon averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists on 44.8 shooting from the field and 31.2% shooting from distance.
However, perhaps the most intriguing part of Brogdon’s addition is the defensive backcourt Boston has built. According to Brogdon, with Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and himself on hand, the Celtics have built a guard room that can be the best defensive backcourt in the league.
“I think we can be the best defensive backcourt in the league. Offensively, I think we can be great,” Brogdon explained.
In addition, the six-year NBA veteran spoke at length about Smart. When Brogdon was first traded to Boston, the media pinned him and Smart against one another. Some thought Brogdon should be the starter, and when it came out that he’d be the team’s sixth man, that caused even more drama. So, ever since he’s joined the organization, that’s been a giant cloud above their heads.
At least, that’s what the fans made it out to be. When asked about it, Brogdon actually talked about how much he loves Smart.
“Since I’ve gotten here, he’s been great,” Brogdon said. “I think people build up a feud between us about, ‘they’re bringing in a point guard,’ yadda yadda. At the end of the day, me and Marcus are going to be on the floor a lot together. Playing together. Me and Marcus have different strengths, we’re going to work really well together.”
Malcolm Brogdon Marcus Smart— NBA (@NBA) September 26, 2022
"Me and Marcus are gonna be on the floor a lot together. Playing together... we're gonna work really well together."
Follow along with #NBAMediaDay: https://t.co/x72YsaFn9B pic.twitter.com/Ee53n8uen9
Marc D’Amico of NBC Sports Boston also asked Brogdon about a similar topic, bringing up the idea of him playing a different role with the Celtics than the one he played in Indiana.
Brogdon explained that he came to Boston with the willingness to play the sixth man role. And while the injury to Robert Williams could end up changing that, he’s willing to do whatever the team needs from him because, at the end of the day, his goal is to win a championship.
“I came in here with an open mindset to play the sixth man role and embrace that and do it to the best of my ability, and I’m open to possibly changing. If they need me to start, whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do. So, I have no problem sacrificing. I think, to win a championship, you have to have guys on the team who are going to sacrifice.”
"I came in here with an open mindset to play the sixth man role."— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 26, 2022
Malcolm Brogdon talks about being flexible with his role as a new member of the #Celtics, and how Rob Williams' injury may impact his role pic.twitter.com/78yv68WjIt
For the first two years of his career, Brogdon split time between the starting lineup and playing in a bench role. However, ever since then, every game he’s appeared in, he’s started. So becoming a sixth man would be a major change for him.
That being said, he seems more than willing to accept that role. If he made one thing clear at Media Day, it’s that he wants to win. And in order to do that, he’s ready to do whatever the team needs him to do. Brogdon said all the right things - winning, togetherness, and sacrifice.
While it’s impossible to shake the negative feelings the past week has left, just remember to find a bright side. Brogdon can be that bright side.