The 2020-21 season is definitely one to forget for the Boston Celtics. That goes for off the court as well. While the Celtics stumbled to a 36-36 record and a first-round playoff exit, they didn’t do so well outside the arena, either. Things got so bad the Washington Wizards reportedly filed a report with the league.
After a disappointing NBA season, the Celtics are in need of change. They’ve already gotten off to a quick start. The team has seen its president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, resign. Head coach Brad Stevens also left his post to replace Ainge in the front office.
On the court, Stevens made his first move in his new role by trading veteran point guard Kemba Walker. Walker was reportedly upset with the front office for attempting to trade him during the season. The Celtics traded him in a package deal to the Oklahoma City Thunder that brought back Al Horford.
Boston may have been the NBA’s biggest disappointment this season. The Celtics were fresh off a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals and had high hopes entering the 2020-21 campaign. The year was filled with frustration from beginning to end, and the franchise appears to be making a fresh start.
The Celtics’ woes went beyond the basketball court during the 2020-21 season. According to WEEI, NBA reporter Chris Mannix said the Washington Wizards filed a complaint with the NBA because of some off-the-court actions by the Celtics.
The Wizards and the Celtics played in Boston on Jan. 8. The next three Celtics games were postponed due to COVID-19 issues. The Wizards then had one of the league’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks as seven players tested positive for the virus within a four-day span.
“The Celtics were among the teams that I know of that didn’t take COVID seriously,” Mannix said. “They continued to go out on the road and would find ways to skirt the rules at times when they were traveling. They didn’t take these protocols seriously — not as seriously as some other teams did.
“Washington, when they had all of their COVID issues back in January and early February, they blamed Boston. They complained to the league that the Celtics, because of what they had heard about players going out in Florida I believe it was, they believed they contracted their issues through the Celtics.”
The Athletic came out with a report this week that the Celtics have been a dysfunctional team for a while. That report stated one Celtics player convinced free agent Blake Griffin not to sign with the team for that reason. Winning may have not been the most important thing on the minds of the players. Some players didn’t take Stevens seriously, according to the report.
Mannix said they weren’t even taking the league’s protocols seriously. NBA players were supposed to follow strict guidelines this season.
“Most of the league knew what was going on with the Celtics, and how they weren’t really taking these COVID protocols seriously,” Mannix said.
Although the work has already started for a new beginning in Boston, there still is a long way to go.