KG explains how ‘dark times’ will impact Celtics locker room originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Kevin Garnett knows a thing or two about leading a locker room through tough times. The Boston Celtics legend has had his fair share of ups and downs during his 21-year NBA career.
So with the C’s currently facing adversity in the form of head coach Ime Udoka’s one-season suspension, Garnett knows what it will take for the team to overcome the distraction.
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KG and C’s former teammate Paul Pierce discussed Udoka’s situation on an episode of Showtime Basketball’s “All The Smoke” with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Garnett thinks the time is right for Boston stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to show they’ve evolved as leaders.
“Is this where Tatum and Jay Brown come in? The locker room, the cohesion has to be on a thousand, ”said Garnett. “Think about it. Your real leader, your general won’t be there for a whole year. Think about all that promise, all that investment they made to get to the finals and what this year looked like. You have all been there. It’s hard as (expletive) to make it to the final. And think about going home as a loser, every time you see someone being reminded of that (expletive) and then you come here for that.
“Dark times show the real personality of the staff,” Garnett said. “That’s when people step in. This is when you go out and grow wings.
Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season as head coach. While there’s no doubt Boston still has the talent to compete for a championship under interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, Garnett’s point is well understood. The season will be a major test on and off the field for Tatum, Brown and other Celtics veterans such as Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Malcolm Brogdon.
The journey begins on Sunday when the Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets for their preseason opener. The regular season begins October 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.
You can watch the full clip featuring Garnett, Pierce, Jackson and Barnes below:
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