Terry Rozier on Reduced Role: 'It's Not as Bad as People Make It Seem'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22:  Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a game against the Orlando Magic at TD Garden on October 22, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier has gone from turning heads in the 2018 NBA postseason to returning to a backup role with All-Star Kyrie Irving healthy.

He's not one to make a fuss, though.

Rozier opened up on Thursday about coming off the bench, per ESPN.com's Tim Bontemps:

"I go from starting in the playoffs to coming off the bench. ... I'm pretty sure it's not easy for nobody. But I'm not complaining. And, if you know me, I would never be the one to complain about it.

"I would never go to the media or bring out the unhappy thing. Like I said, people that know me know I wouldn't do that. I've never been a selfish type of person, selfish player. You can tell the way I play I'm all about team.

"Everything will be all right. It's not as bad as people make it seem."

It may be easier for Rozier to accept a bench role because that's mostly what he's known as a pro. The fourth-year player has started 16 regular-season games, all of which came last season when Irving underwent knee surgery.

But for someone who enjoyed considerable success as a starter down the stretch, it may be an adjustment to go back to the bench.

Rozier helped Boston reach Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before it fell to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game during the postseason.

This year, he's playing 22.7 minutes per game while putting up 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

A reduced role could prove costly for Rozier, as the 2015 first-round pick is set to become a restricted free agent next summer. Still, The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania reported Wednesday that "at least seven teams" are keeping tabs on Rozier.

"That's how it should be," Rozier said Thursday, per Bontemps. "There should be more."