Terry Rozier didn’t shy away from a myriad of questions he was asked during recent appearances on ESPN.
Acknowledging that the Celtics’ season-ending playoff loss to the Cavaliers “sucked,” he also asserted that his team would’ve made a better NBA Finals matchup for the Golden State Warriors.
It was part of a media tour Rozier conducted on Monday and Tuesday mornings at ESPN, where he stopped by television shows “Get Up” and “First Take.”
On “First Take,” co-host Stephen A. Smith asserted that Rozier is “grossly underpaid” before asking him about the Celtics’ offseason priorities and possible trade rumors. Specifically, whether Rozier and his teammates want to stay together or are interested in getting traded to potentially play more minutes.
“Oh no we definitely want to stay together, us young guys,” Rozier explained. “We’ve seen this run that we had this season. It’s tough to tell a group of competitors that you’ll get it next season. We’re all hungry, like I said, so we want to stay together. We want to advance to where we left off this year, and win the big one.”
Asked about the Celtics potentially being a better matchup against the Warriors, Rozier didn’t hold back.
“I definitely agree,” he said. “Not taking anything away from Cleveland, but we have a lot of guys that can switch off the ball. Our communication is key for us, and that’s something that we valued all year. And I feel like we’d be a better matchup for them.”
On “Get Up,” Rozier responded to a question about how he’s dealing with the new level of fame gleaned from his successful run in the starting lineup following Kyrie Irving’s season ending injury.
“I just want to build off that,” said Rozier. “This summer’s important for me, and obviously that recognition is just a start.”
On the happy accident of naming Drew Bledsoe instead of Eric during a playoff press conference (and the connection he later forged with the former Patriots quarterback), Rozier reassured ESPN’s Mike Greenberg that he hadn’t done so intentionally.
Rozier offered a glimpse at how the Celtics handled Irving’s injury, and how Brad Stevens helped build his confidence in a typically understated way.
“I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder and it’s always going to remain [there],” said Rozier. “I always tell myself everyday I’m just as good as anybody. When Kyrie went down, and I was in the gym shooting, it was just me and coach [Stevens], who had walked in. And he gave me that same message: ‘You’re just as good as anybody.’ He believed that, I strongly believed that, and it just took off from there.”
And to change it up, the Celtics guard also offered his take on how to slow down the Warriors, stepping in front of the video board to break down film.