11 People who turned their backs on the Celtics

These players, coaches and other figures all turned their back on the Celtics in one way or another.

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The Boston Celtics are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. They have won 17 NBA championships and find themselves near the top of the Eastern Conference standings decade after decade.

But their wild success does not mean they have had perfect relationships with every single player in their history. Most players who have put on the Celtic uniform have been honored to do so, but a few others hold some type of resentment toward the organization for one reason or another.

Here, we will look at 11 players, coaches and other NBA figures that have turned their back on the organization in one way or another over the years. Trade requests, soured relationships, talking bad about the team post-departure, and disrespecting the franchise in other ways were all among the criteria considered for someone to land on this list.

Tristan Thompson

Spending less than nine months total in Boston from November 2020 until August 2021, Tristan Thompson's story of turning his back on the Celtics is a unique one. No, he did not request a trade or speak badly of the organization after leaving, but he did something arguably worse.

According to John Karalis of the Locked On Celtics podcast, there is a real case to be made that Thompson played a part in changing Jayson Tatum's mentality on the regular season. Karalis believes it was partly the influence of Thompson that made Tatum begin to take regular season games less seriously than he should.

This is a major knock on Thompson and his time with the Celtics. Tristan may have thought he had the team's best interests at heart, but in the end he was ruining the attitude of a player who is still Boston's cornerstone and best player.


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