Boston Celtics opening tipoff news: Tatum lauds selfless vet, White wants to stay

Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Ahead of the Boston Celtics’ opening night game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, several intriguing news bites surrounding the team hit the news cycle.

Jayson Tatum lauds veteran Boston Celtics leader for truly being team-first

The biggest piece of news pertaining to the team on October 25 was that Al Horford would be coming off the bench after two straight seasons of starting for the Celtics since returning to Boston in a June 2021 trade; the first move of Brad Stevens’ tenure as President of Basketball Operations.

In response, Jayson Tatum lauded the leader for meaning what he says when he claims to be team-first.

“A lot of guys say they’ll do anything to help the team win but Al is the epitome of that,” Tatum said to the media (h/t Jay King).

Derrick White wants to stay with Boston Celtics long-term

Derrick White didn’t get an extension at the deadline to sign before the start of the 2023-24 season, but despite that, No. 9 still plans on staying with the Celtics over the long haul, he told the media on October 25.

“Despite the lack of a contract extension before the deadline, Derrick White said he wants to be with the Celtics for a long time and that hasn’t changed,” The Athletic’s Jay King tweeted.

With Kristaps Porzingis and Jaylen Brown getting extensions, Brown’s a supermax, over the offseason, Stevens may be testing the waters with this core to see if every member is worthy of a long-term contract.

Marcus Smart didn’t feel valued by Boston Celtics front office

In what was somewhat of a shocker, Marcus Smart took a dig at the Celtics front office for not valuing him in the final act of the nine-year relationship between the franchise and the 2014 NBA draft’s No. 6 pick.

“You always want to be where you’re wanted, and another team’s trash is another team’s gold — so I’m glad to be here,” Smart told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss (h/t; referring to Memphis as the “here” and the Celtics when he said “another team’s trash.”

“I’m glad to be on an organization that wants me and sees me (have) great value. So I’m ecstatic and I’m ready to get going.”