Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier isn’t getting riled up over the disrespectful comments of one of his counterparts.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe pretended to not know who Rozier was after struggling against him in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but Rozier didn’t devote much thought to that, saying he was already fired up for the playoffs before Bledsoe’s comments.
Terry Rozier on motivation and Eric Bledsoe:
"He can’t motivate me. He don’t motivate me at all. Even the negative stuff when you turn on ESPN, they wasn’t motivating me before the playoffs started. I already motivated myself so they were too late."
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 20, 2018
The stats are on Rozier’s side here. The Celtics guard has scored 23 and 22 in the first two games of the series, with both performances coming before Bledsoe’s random act of disrespect. This is frustration on the part of the Bucks guard, and it doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose.
Eric Bledsoe had some disrespectful comments for Terry Rozier following Game 2 of the first round playoff series between Boston and Milwaukee.
The Celtics took a 2-0 lead in their series with the Bucks on Tuesday thanks to a 120-106 victory in Boston. Following the game, Bledsoe dismissed Rozier and his impact in the first two games of the series. He was asked about his matchup with Rozier and pretended like he didn’t know him.
Eric Bledsoe on if he takes the matchup with Terry Rozier personally: “Who?” Bledsoe replied. “Terry Rozier,” a reporter said again. “I don’t know who the f*** that is,” Bledsoe responded.
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) April 18, 2018
Rozier scored 23 points in Game 2. In Game 1, he also scored 23 and had this step-back jumper with Bledsoe guarding him.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 15, 2018
Bledsoe is obviously frustrated with his team’s performance thus far in these playoffs, but he comes off rather salty when dismissing a guy who has had a great first two games of the series. Maybe that Kentucky-Louisville rivalry is not lost on him.
This NBA season has been one for the books. Think of all the narratives: the drama-filled Cavs, the injury-riddled Celtics, the red-hot Rockets and Raptors, the crazy trade deadline, the inconsistent Warriors — the list goes on.
With the playoffs approaching (they start this Saturday), we still don’t know which teams will match up. Will Houston square off with Utah, New Orleans, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, or Denver? Considering the unpredictability of this season, your guess is as good as mine.
Though we don’t yet know which teams will see each other, we do have an idea of which players will play a salient role in shaping the NBA playoffs. Here’s a look at 15 of those players.
15. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
The Greek Freak has looked a year away from total domination this season. Though many fans expected the Bucks would make the leap to become an Eastern Conference contender this year, the squad has disappointed. They underperformed with Jason Kidd, who was fired midway through the season, and they’ve underperformed with Joe Prunty. Giannis will need to be at his best — he’ll need to be ready now — for Milwaukee to steal a series. He missed Saturday’s game against New York with ankle soreness, the sixth game he’s missed this year.
14. Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey both seemed supremely confident the Chris Paul/James Harden experiment would be a hit. This season has made them look like prophets. The Rockets, behind their voluminous three-point shooting, have been easily the best team in the league, cruising to a 64-16 record. Their postseason success will ultimately boil down to the success of their two stars. Paul has never made it to the NBA Finals — could this be the year he finally breaks through? He has his best supporting cast to date.
Terry Rozier had to learn the hard way just how serious shoe rivalries can be.
In a feature on Derrick Rose’s Adidas deal that was published on Tuesday, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated shared an interesting anecdote about how the Boston Celtics guard Rozier, who also previously had a sponsorship deal with Adidas, was dropped by the company for wearing Nikes during a shootaround.
Adidas’s treatment of Rose is especially perplexing given how closely the company has held other players to the letter of their contracts. On Jan. 18, 2016, Celtics guard Terry Rozier signed a deal that, according to documents provided to SI, guaranteed him $300,000 over three seasons.
During the 2017 Eastern Conference finals, Rozier wore Nikes during a pregame shootaround. He changed into Adidas shoes for the game, but his public appearance in a rival brand did not escape notice. In a letter delivered by FedEx last May 26, Adidas’s legal counsel Monique Hawthorne notified Rozier, “Adidas is terminating your Agreement effective immediately.” (According to Rozier’s representatives, they plan to arbitrate Adidas’s decision.)
The 23-year-old Rozier, who is currently averaging career-highs in points (9.7), rebounds (4.6), and assists per game (2.3), has been seen this season playing in Kobe Bryant’s signature Nike shoes instead. But his terminated Adidas endorsement is yet another illustration of how fierce the competition between the two sneaker giants truly is.
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier certainly knows where he stands in the eyes of general manager Danny Ainge.
Speaking with Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston on Saturday, Rozier dropped this priceless response when asked if he was ever worried about the possibility of being traded by the Celtics.
"Nah, Danny won't trade me," with a laugh.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) September 9, 2017
The 23-year-old Rozier, who was the Celtics’ first-round pick in 2015, doesn’t exactly produce like an untouchable player — he averaged just 5.5 points and 1.8 assists in 17.8 minutes a game last season. But Ainge’s lofty and borderline irrational valuation of him (as evidenced by this notable example) has become something of a running gag in the basketball community. Thus, Rozier knows just as well as anybody that he’s pretty much safe as a sardine in Boston.
- Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier and Brandon Jennings were ejected from Thursday’s Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards after being hit with a pair of double-technicals a minute apart.
The Wizards were up 97-71 with 10:45 left in the game when Jennings and Rozier started to get into it a little. The officials broke things up and the Celtics took the ball out. A few seconds later, Rozier shoved Jennings.
— Kelly Woubre Jr. (@World_Wide_Wob) May 5, 2017
The two were called for double-technical fouls.
Stevens was upset about double-technicals being handed out and he ended up getting called for a tech.
But things didn’t stop there.
Less than a minute later, there was a break in the action and more talking went on between Jennings and Rozier. The officials called a double-technical on them again, resulting in both being ejected.
Jennigns vs. Rozier pic.twitter.com/MOCdbr9NZv
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) May 5, 2017
They weren’t the only ones ejected from the game as Kelly Oubre was tossed in the second quarter for retaliating on Kelly Olynyk.
Danny Ainge is apparently a big-time Terry Rozier enthusiast.
According to a report by Jared Weiss and Keith Smith of CelticsBlog Tuesday, the Celtics had discussions with the Orlando Magic about a possible Serge Ibaka trade but were unwilling to give up the second-year guard Rozier.
Ibaka will become a free agent after the season, so it’s understandable that the Celtics might not have been willing to give up anything of value for him right now. But the 22-year-old Rozier, Boston’s first-round pick in 2015, hasn’t exactly been a stud for them and is averaging just 5.6 points and 1.7 assists per game this season backing up Isaiah Thomas.
The Celtics do have a history of overvaluing their own assets, so we’ll see if passing on Ibaka, who was instead traded to one of their major Eastern competitors in the Toronto Raptors, will come back to haunt them.
Image via Terry Rozier on Instagram