The Boston Celtics won their first game of the season on Wednesday night, defeating the Utah Jazz 97-87 at home. It was Brad Stevens’ first regular season win as an NBA coach, a genuine monkey-off-the-shoulder story if anything.
You would think only positive things would come from the night. However, issues still persist with Gerald Wallace and the Celtics brass.
Wallace, the 31-year-old former all-star, came off of the bench for the first time all season in the C’s first victory. Stevens elected to go with a smaller, more traditional lineup to start things, and inserted Jamaal Crawford in place of Gerald Wallace.
Wallace played season-low 23 minutes off the bench, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds. After the game, he spoke out about not starting.
“I don’t know, this is the first time for me,” Wallace said. “I never came off the bench, other than about three years in Sacramento, where they were garbage minutes. I’ve always been a starter. I worked my tail off in the league to become a starter. It’s something that’s new to me.”
The Celtics have had minor issues with Wallace prior to the start of the regular season, regarding his vocal honesty in regards to how he feels. Still, Wallace continues to be very straightforward.
“It’s hard,’ Wallace said. ‘It’s like starting from scratch zero with this team and trying to figure out what direction they’re headed in and what pieces they’re going to put together.”
Wallace did add, however, that he will continue to give everything he has and maintain a professional attitude.
“I approach the role the same way I did as a starter, and see what I can do from there,” Wallace said.
Wallace has been part of a rebuilding team before.
While there has been talk of Boston trying to shop Wallace to a team with a better chance of winning in the near future, the idea seems quite unlikely. Wallace has $10.1 million left on his contract for the next three years, making any possible trade scenario seem more daunting every day.
“My thing about that is I don’t ask for trades,” Wallace said. “I don’t like to be traded. You know, once I get a place where I’m comfortable, I just want to know what’s expected of me and what my role is. For a guy that goes out and puts 110 percent of himself into it, you’re giving your all and you just want to know that.”
Wallace did, however, tell the media that his recent thoughts have nothing to do with his coach. Wallace said he realizes Stevens is still in the learning process.
“The thing is, the season starts so fast. It’s more like learning on the job,” Wallace said. “It’s not like college where you have that time to get to work as a team and grow and understand and see your players. In fairness to coach Stevens, he’s having to watch during the season to figure out his rotations and what guys like to do and how they play.”
Wallace did see one problem with that idea, however.
“I mean, that’s tough because these games actually count,” he added.