There was nothing normal about Terry Rozier’s ESPN tour

Nick Friar
May 16, 2019 - 12:53 pm

So I read the column by WEEI.com’s own Alex Reimer in defense of Terry Rozier yesterday. Of course, the headline, “Terry Rozier’s delusion is perfectly natural” caught my attention first. If this was written satirically I’d understand, but I don’t think that was the case. When I actually read the piece, there was more than one occasion where I found myself making the same face from that overused GIF of some guy blinking in shock.

“Rozier may be airing his grievances in an untoward manner, but his feelings aren’t unnatural. Imagine how would you feel if you performed well at your job one year, only to take a backseat to a total jerk without receiving a chance to usurp him.”

First off, this was never really Rozier’s job. He was filling in for Kyrie Irving. Regardless, whether you lose your job to the nicest person in the world or the biggest dink to walk the planet, you lost your job. It may make it easier to accept in the short-term if it’s the nice guy who won, but give it long enough, you’ll find a way to twist things to make it look like you were the one treated unfairly.

Second, if Rozier really thinks he’s bound for stardom, why was he unable to overcome this situation? What, he didn’t get a chance? That’s how sports work. The best person plays. If you want to take their job, you have to find a way to be better and make your own breaks.

Also, as clichéd as it sounds, isn’t this the type of circumstance under which a star emerges? When everyone around is looking for someone else to be a beacon of hope?

Instead, Rozier fell in line and let Irving bring him down with everyone else while Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart appeared to be the only guys who at least attempted to step forward and do what needed to be done.

The young guys –– Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Rozier –– deserve blame for not acquiescing to their new roles and appearing to play for their own interests. But it’s silly to hold players on their rookie contracts accountable for the Celtics’ destruction when their leader was complaining about getting videotaped heading into arenas and constantly throwing them under the bus to the press.”

Hold on a sec. We can’t hold players on rookie contracts accountable when they’re expected to play integral roles in the Celtics attempt at banner 18? Maybe they didn’t have the same pull as Irving, but when you do things the right way, people generally find ways to work with that. Either way, young or not, these guys were important pieces on this team — even Rozier to some extent. They wanted it that way. But now we’re just giving them a free pass because Irving wasn’t keen on having a camera stuck in his face?

This whole ordeal leads me to believe Rozier could’ve been the ringleader in the anti-Kyrie portion of the locker room. He wasn’t getting his fill, then he tells Brown or someone else they aren’t getting their fair share and we get the product we saw throughout the 2018-19 season. Irving may have started the battle with the young guys, but it’s pretty clear enough wasn’t done to shut down this fiasco.

“Rozier appears to be an immature 25 year old who’s fallen victim to self-pity, and the temptation to publicize his complaints. It means he may have to move on from the Celtics, but it does not make him malevolent.”

Yes, Rozier isn’t malevolent, obviously. He didn’t like someone he worked with because that person was apparently too high-maintenance, or something along those lines. (Welcome to the real world.) But I got the impression here that Alex is chalking this up as, “he’s just a kid who did something dumb off of emotion.” When you go on ESPN and announce to the world you hated your work environment and throw multiple people under the bus, it’s a bit more severe than tweeting something along the lines of, “Peace out, Boston,” right after your last game.

Look, if Irving bounces out of town like everyone seems to think he will, aside from Danny Ainge — who should’ve seen this mess coming by the trade deadline — I would not be opposed to bringing Rozier back. He may have to mend a few fences along the way, but in terms of talent, he brings quite a bit to the table.

But to justify whatever that was he did on Tuesday, I mean, I don’t know how that idea can enter anyone’s mind for more than two seconds.

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