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Marcus Morris had an inside view of a locker room falling apart last season in Boston. A team with championship aspirations bombed in the second round, as the Celtics’ mix of veterans and youngsters turned toxic because, among other things, issues with roles and playing time.
The Knicks, at least on the surface, are a candidate to fall the same way. They’re not championship contenders, but the Knicks have multiple players accustomed to minutes that aren’t possible to accommodate with this roster. SNY reported that players have already griped about playing time.
According to Morris, though, there’s a major difference in the locker-room dynamic: The Knicks don’t have to cater to a superstar the way Boston did for Kyrie Irving.
“The teams are different. We don’t have that one guy where it’s like, okay, he’s first,” Morris said. “It’s a team thing. No knock on Ky, but obviously he’s a superstar, he’s first. Sometimes his emotions were put in front of the team. I think here, we’re all transparent with each other. We can all go up to each other and be honest with each other. That’s the biggest thing, when you can go out and speak to your brother.”
Morris has twice been part of teams that overachieved one year and flopped the next. In Boston, Irving and Gordon Hayward were injured during the 2017-18 season and the Celtics fell one victory short of the NBA Finals. Then last season with Hayward and Irving back in the fold, they weren’t competitive against the Bucks in the second round. Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown dipped in production from one season to the next. Irving acknowledged he “failed” as a leader.
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