Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge talked a lot about the media with … the media on Thursday, during his weekly call with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich. The discussion came up after comments Jaylen Brown made after Boston’s 101-99 over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
The criticism has certainly heated up amid the team’s struggles to stay above .500 after entering the season with higher expectations. Brown met specifically with teammate Jayson Tatum, who faced direct and harsh criticism from former Celtic Kendrick Perkins this week.
Ainge felt it was a good thing for Brown and Tatum to talk those things through, which they all hope helps them focus on basketball and ignore the noise.
“I see two guys that really like each other,” Ainge said of Brown and Tatum’s relationship. “I think that from what I gathered – I didn’t talk to them about this, I just read it – they’re just trying to keep the noise out. There’s a lot of people out there who would try to get in between everybody on the team, for that matter. It’s a healthy thing that they got together to talk through some of that stuff, because most of the time I see most of my players on their phones just reading things.”
On Perkins’ comments, Ainge added: “I think ‘Perk’ is paid to have opinions, and he’s out there, and he’s giving a lot of opinions, and I love Perk. I hope those guys aren’t being impacted by things that people are saying that are media heads that are paid to give an opinion. Hopefully they’re just talking it through [and] they don’t pay too much attention to all the noise out there, which one of them said. That’s a good thing.”
Brown spoke candidly about the media pressure that has surrounded the Celtics in the 2020-21 season, and the importance of talking it over with his teammates.
“We probably should have had those conversations more,” Brown said. “Sometimes, the way things are going, and how much pressure we get from you guys in the media, kind of makes us less open to talk or more upset about things that aren’t that big of a deal. In hindsight, things could be worse.”
Many of us here at 98.5 the Sports Hub have certainly been critical of the Celtics when they haven’t played well. Fair or not, the reality is that in Boston, when the teams get worse the noise only increases. The Celtics must block it out, because at the end of the day, any opinions coming from outside their facilities are only going to serve as a distraction.
Listen above for the full interview with Ainge.