Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has downplayed the recent sideline scuffle between players Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown.
The teammates got into a quick altercation in the huddle during a blowout loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, with Morris caught shoving Brown on camera. Marcus Smart, however, was on hand to smother the flames, holding onto Brown before he could have time to react.
Speaking to the media the following day, Stevens insisted that there was nothing to worry about. But he made sure to have a go at Smart, who did surprise just about everyone with his professional diffusing.
Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart breaking up the Brown-Morris flare up was more noteworthy than anything. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/GmAsv5IT6j— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) January 12, 2019
“How about Smart breaking it up. You talk about growth, holy smokes," the coach joked, per NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg.
“I thought he would be in the middle of one of those… you guys looked at it as a negative I could not believe what I was seeing.”
Morris and Brown have also claimed that the issue is done and dusted.
"We moved past it after the timeout," the veteran forward explained. "I know everybody wants to catch everything on camera, but catch the stuff that happens afterward, when we sat right beside each other and it was over."
"Nothing major. Let it go. Move on," Brown added.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has also weighed in on the whole affair, revealing that he had no problems with the shove.
"I honestly didn't think anything of it," he said. "I like Marcus' and Jaylen's character and personalities and feistiness, and, like, I just think nothing of something like this.
"It's something where those things happen to best friends even. Heck, I remember those things happening to (Rajon) Rondo and Perk (Kendrick Perkins). You know, they're best buddies, but it's just the heat of the battle, and I didn't have a second thought about it."
What This Means
There have been suggestions of some internal discord brewing up in the Celtics' camp. But everyone involved, plus the people around them, have intimated that the recent episode was no big deal and everything is back to normal.
Fortunately, Morris and Brown's fiasco did not erupt into something as big as the Kevin Durant vs Draymond Green exchange. Stevens, though, will need to get his team back on a proper footing where results are concerned.