Boston has a first-year coach, Ime Udoka. From what I’ve heard, the players and fans love him. What is he doing differently that has helped them reach this point?
His poise is crazy. For him to be a rookie, you’d never know it. The way he delivers, that just translates to the young guys. He played ball as well, he has those experiences and knows what those emotions are on the court in real time. He got them all to buy in. You saw us from last season to this season? We’re two totally different teams because we bought into being a defensive team. Shout out to Ime.
Does Marcus Smart embody that mindset?
I love him, man — to watch him hoop, the way he moves, the type of player he is. He got a max extension and then he became Defensive Player of the Year. People said a lot about his deal, but he delivered and is just doing what he does. He hustles for this city, for real, for real.
Boston has two star forwards who often get compared — and have been discussed in trade rumors. If you had to choose, are you a Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum guy?
We ain’t doing that, bro. Nope. Those are both my guys. I love them both. Feel me? I yell the same way when they score and am the same type of mad when they make a turnover.
I get that. But if I’m being honest, as a Golden State fan, Klay Thompson is my favorite Splash Brother. Not just on the court, but the way he lives his life.
Yeah, Klay’s a funny dude, man. I love Klay. Didn’t he just go post something about swimming in the water by the Golden Gate? You can’t hate on that [laughs].
Yeah, he said it gets him “closer to god.” Who is that Celtics equivalent for you as a fan?
For me, my guy right now is Grant Williams.
He’s the Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association.
Bro, his mom is in NASA and his dad [was a jazz musician]. His IQ is crazy. Also, being under Al Horford helps. That must all make a sound mind.
Have you connected with him or other Celtics players before?
I’ve met them a few times running around TD after games. Marcus — I’ve kicked it with him before. He’s a great gentleman.
Who’s your all-time favorite Celtic? There are so many to choose from.
Peezy [Paul Pierce]. That was the guy for me. Paul Pierce was our guy. That’s the second Celtics jersey I ever had. When him and [Antoine] Walker made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, I thought we had it. I cried when we lost that game, for real.
How do you feel about Draymond Green and the way he has played against the Celtics in this Finals? Do you see him as a controversial player?
I never had a problem with him ‘til we started playing against him. Swear to god. Now I notice all the antics. But I’m sure if I asked a Warriors fan about Marcus Smart they’d feel the same. They the same, low key. That’s their job. That’s how I chalk it up. I can’t get mad at it. If [Draymond] riles us up, he’s just doing his job. And he’s great at it.