Your Morning Dump… Where Courtney Lee is frustrated with his playing time | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where Courtney Lee is frustrated with his playing time


Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

But Boston Celtics’ wing Courtney Lee was more upset than usual … and it was about more than just the game.

He was angry at head coach Brad Stevens’ decision to not play him in the second half of Saturday’s 106-99 loss to Washington – something that had not happened to Lee in a single game all season.

But as angry as he is about the matter, Lee said he will not make any trade demands.

“Nah. I been through worst (expletive) in life than basketball,” he told “I don’t give up on nothing that easy. It’s never going to get to that point. No one man can make me want to walk away from a situation. Now if I get traded, I get traded. That’s one thing. But I’ll never ask for a trade.”

Lee said he was given no explanation for why he didn’t play in the second half of Saturday’s loss.

“I can’t … I can’t figure it out other than I missed a couple shots,” said Lee who was 0-for-3 shooting in seven minutes, 40 seconds of court time. “That could be the only reason why he didn’t play me.”

CSNNE – Lee frustrated with playing time vs Wizards

Well that didn’t take long.  After just the second game following the trade rumors that surrounded him and Brandon Bass for Omer Asik, Courtney Lee went public with his frustrations.  Obviously I’m jumping to conclusions and making the assumption that the trade rumor was part of what him express his lack-of-playing-time frustration, but he’s human and it’s understandable.  The Celtics were fresh off blowing another huge lead at home, and it was one in which Lee didn’t see any time in the second half.

Part of that reason was because Avery Bradley was NBA Jam on fire in the second half, drilling shots all over the court.  For some reason, head Coach Brad Stevens played the starters heavy minutes (likely due to Washington making the comeback) so that’s also part of it.  But later on in the CSNNE piece, Lee discussed the issue with Stevens and what jumped out at me was his quotes from that:

“Are you going to be consistent with what you do? If you’re gonna stick to a time subbing pattern that you make before the game and not go off how the game’s going? Or are you going to go off of how the game is going? I don’t know.”

Lee said he has talked with Stevens about the situation, but didn’t sound overly optimistic that things will be resolved to his satisfaction.

“We talked,” Lee acknowledged. “Of course it’s always going to be everything said that I want to hear. But I mean, you see that’s not the case when I’m out there.”

Boom.  One of Red Auerbach’s biggest rules when he coached was to never bring your issues public with the media.  If you had issues with him or anything else, keep it behind closed doors, but those doors were always open to the players.  It was a major issue with JoJo White late in his career.  Now, Lee is no JoJo but the theme remains the same.  The fact that he just brushed off Stevens as if to say “Yeah, yeah… blah, blah… I don’t care what you say just play me” is not a good sign.  It would be unfair to criticize Lee too much here.  Just think about how aggravated we as fans get when we constantly hear rumors about our team’s players when all we’d prefer to do is watch them play.  It can only be 100 times worse if you’re that player.

This is an early test for Stevens at the pro level, his first go around at dealing with rumors and keeping his team together.  The chemistry has been great for the most part and Lee has had a fantastic season in the limited minutes he’s played.  It will only be more difficult to give all those guards satisfactory run when Rajon Rondo returns.  He won’t be playing 40, 30 or even maybe 20 MPG when he first returns, but once he gets back into his usual flow, well then a few guys will be riding more pine because of simple math.  Keep an eye on the situation, but after tonight, the C’s have 5 straight days to regroup and get their heads straightened out.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Boston Celtics still searching for sustained, 48-minute effort | Sullinger downplays ankle injury | Notebook: Trip home for Stevens

Boston Globe – Celtics squander another lead, lose to Wizards | A more mature Jordan Crawford shines for Celtics vs. former team, the Wizards | Celtics can’t keep giving up late leads if they’re to be taken seriously | Brad Stevens’ stock on the rise as he returns to Indiana | Brandon Jennings enjoying fresh start in Detroit (Sunday Notes)

Boston Herald – Celtics can’t follow lead | Avery Bradley’s best shot to help not at point | Brooks set for shot (Sunday Notes) | Crawford plays it cool  | In lead, but hardly elite

CSSNE – In the bonus: Sullinger continues scoring | Celtics disappear in 106-99 loss to Wizards | Good, Bad & The Ugly: Troublesome 3rd Quarter  | By the numbers: disappearing act | Crawford struggles against former teammates

WEEI – Celtics blow another huge lead first half lead, lose to Wizards

MassLive: Jared Sullinger says ankle is ‘a little bit swollen,’ but plans to play vs Pacers | Notebook: Jeff Green blames late-game woes on himself, Avery Bradley gets hot despite dental work

JCOnline – Compliments roll in for Brad Stevens

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  • NE_Celt

    Wow C Lee….this is disappointing. Thought he was more professional than this…hell Brooks has bitched less to the media then this…and he’s only getting junk time. And he can’t be surprised with a trade or his lack of minutes…overall he hasn’t lived up to what he was sold as when he came here. A week off may be good…hopefully Stevens can get a grip on his discruntled employees.

    • eddysamson

      Brooks has said the exact opposite…that he’s not mad, and Stevens told him he was a plan for him and he’s ready whenever.

      Wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing him more. My theory was that we would see Brooks play with Rondo, that was Steven’s plan.

      • NE_Celt

        With his attitude and also warming up with Rondo before games and being a team player I wouldn’t be surprised to see that…brooks needs some overall polishing though…his D is horrible.

  • jason benn

    forget who i said to earlier about lee and bass complainging in media, he needs to go plain and simple regardless of if he mad about pt or not. the celtics are a classy organization part of the mystique is players arent supposed to go in the media and complain, ill bet danny ainge even makes his way to silence lee, and he will just trade lee now to whoever will take him, that pretty much sealed the deal that lee will be traded by the deadline. stevens is here to stay and for whatever reason if stevens doesnt like lee or they dont get along lee will be gone not stevens. sure hes been playing good but this kind of attitude is exactly the way you dont get playing time, look forward to some DNP coachs decision now courtney lee, and you made stevens job easier when rondo comes back he will play rondo bradley heavy minutes with steez and a dash of pressey in the mix. i can get why hes mad and all that but like its says above, red was great because sure you can voice your complaints but it stays out of the media which im sure isnt lost on lee, he doesnt want to be here thats loud and clear.

  • Frank Aziza

    Really? He didn’t go to media last year when Doc stopped playing him. That shows lack of respect to Stevens because he’s young. Or maybe KG isn’t here to have the coaches back. It was one half, maybe Steven went with his gut or whatever. He’s a coward, he won’t challenge Doc but he does this to a first year coach.

    • Jake Gruber

      I’m not particularly a Courtney Lee fan, but you have absolutely no basis to make this comment on. How do you know Doc Rivers didn’t make it a point to walk up to Lee last season and let him know why he wasn’t playing as much, or tell him that he is important to the team and he is still aware he is on the bench? In fact, from what I have heard about Rivers, this is exactly why players liked him.

      So before you call a player a “coward”, you might consider that you have literally zero idea of what the story is. Call whoever you want whatever you want, but to me it sounds ignorant and totally unintelligent.

      • Step

        Well Lee did state that he didn’t know how he fell out of the rotation and because of that frustration he stopped working on his game last season and didn’t put any extra work in. He said at the beginning of the season it was hard for him not having a real role while Doc was there so….

        • Jake Gruber

          I’m not sure if that was intended to support my point or provide support for the contrary but to me it seems to support my point that Courtney Lee is not just complaining because it is a new young coach. All that suggests is that he complains no matter who is coaching him, which in large part was what I was saying. I said it is wrong to complain either way to the media, but that it probably has little to do with Brad Stevens being a young coach. Furthermore, I’m sure Lee realized he was having a horrible season last year, so it was less of a surprise.

          • Step

            My point was he said all of that stuff THIS yr..not while Doc was still coaching.He didn’t peep a word while Doc was coaching. I understand he’s frustrated and he should take it directly to the coach, nothing good really comes when you complain to the media. The stories pretty much start to write themselves.

  • Brad P

    He’s probably mad because nobody liked his Xbox Ones

  • Jake Gruber

    To voice it publicly was wrong. However, I also disagree with and am surprised about the lack of explanation he got from Stevens. That doesn’t seem like a Brad Stevens-like move, as far as what I have heard about him. Does Stevens OWE him an explanation? No. Of course not. Would it benefit the team to communicate with your players when they unexpectedly play less than they have been? Yes. No question.

    • Rich Jensen

      Bear in mind that you’re not hearing Stevens’ account of the meeting. You’re hearing the Lee account of a meeting, with Lee already cheesed off about playing time.

      And in a nutshell, Lee’s on the wrong side of this, IMO. A smart coach is not going stick to some predetermined substitution pattern regardless of how the game is going. That’s silly. When the starting SG is racking up video game numbers, and you’re barely holding onto a lead, he stays in the game. If you’d rather go out there and tally up a negative in +/-, just so you can run around a bit and shoot the basketball a few times, then you probably shouldn’t be playing at all.

      • Jake Gruber

        All good points. I just would hope that Stevens gives his players an explanation and tells them he’s aware they exist, etc. I think that is part of what makes a good coach, and part of why I think Stevens IS such a good coach.

        About the not playing Lee thing, I am in absolute agreement with you. I was never trying to argue that he should have been playing whatsoever. I’m just trying to support open communication between player and coach. That’s how you keep a team together. However, you don’t do it through the media the way that Lee did. That part was idiotic.

        • Rich Jensen

          Well, I think that’s what Stevens gave Lee. And I think Lee is not self-aware enough to realize that he’s #2 behind Bradley, and an expendable #2 at that. Hump gets it, or so it would seem. So does Wallace. Apparently. At least the two of them have been savvy enough to avoid griping to the media about Stevens, except for Wallace that one time, which mostly doesn’t count because of how happy he was after the game.

  • jason benn

    Feb. 20 — 2014 NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET)

    which means 60 days til lee is traded and this garbage stops. does stevens make questionable rotations sure what coach doesnt. is stevens a brand new coach still treading water trying to figure things out sure definetly, nothing wrong with that at all, we cant expect stevens to magically know how to sub and get the feel of the nba over night. is courtney lee a cry baby and totally unprofessional absolutely! he should take a page out of ketih bogans book and say to the media what bogans has said to them about his playing time………..which is nothing because bogans is a vet and knows what it means to be a professional, which means you shut up and put up when your number is called. lee doesnt want to be here so let him go trade him to the bobcats or to the sixers for a pick who cares, he doesnt wanna be here for the future so why try and smooth things over with him. stevens should just tell him in private that what he did is not ok, and that now in practice he has to earn his playing time back. maybe im more of a ass then stevens would be but if i were him i would make him earn his time back for speaking out like that letting him know that this is his team he is the coach and he decides how many minutes he wil play people not the players, stevens needs to put his foot down give him some dnp’s and play brooks even until lee pubically apologizes to the team for his out of line comments. we play team basketball here lee is concerned about himself obviously, I just cant stand selfish players who regardless of how they play and if they maybe deserve more minutes voicing their opinion to the media and saying basically well yeah i talked to coach and he feed me a bunch of BS lol pun intended lol the man makes millions shut up and play

  • Rjd12345

    Isn’t it ironic that C-Lee and Gerald Wallace, the guys with the hardest contracts to trade, are the ones going to the media to complain? I have liked C-Lee this year but this is just frustrating to hear. We as fans say, “well if he’s not happy, we can trade him.” But that’s not gonna be easy with Lee (even harder for Wallace). I’m just sick of players bringing a negative attitude to the C’s. I get that you want pt and want to win, but you are being paid millions of dollars to play the sport you love, in a city that idolizes their sports stars, and you have a great coaching staff that has far-exceeded expectations for this team. No need to go to the media. He should’ve gone to the coaches.

  • MrCuret

    Lee is giving indication that he’s starting to think about himself over the team. I never expected that from him.

  • Chuck Da buck

    It’s a fact if he plays more minutes he sucks I would use him exactly how Stevens is atleast he’s efficient now he wasn’t before.