Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/10/13
A lot people — including their own top personnel man — seem to think the Celtics are not going to be very good next season. Three members of the Celtics’ young core are not among those people. Speaking with reports at the Orlando Summer League, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger bristled at talk of the Celtics “tanking” or “rebuilding” in the near future. Acknowledging that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who has used the “rebuilding” word multiple times this offseason, may not be done making moves, the three members of Boston’s young core rejected the idea that the Celtics are lottery-bound. “We’ve definitely [got] something to prove,” Lee told ESPN.com. “A lot of people counted us out, but that puts that chip on our shoulders. You know the underdog always fights hard, and that’s what we plan on doing.” Brad Stevens‘ hiring, which many observers took as a sign that the Celtics were gearing up for a long-term rebuild, sent the opposite message to Green. Stevens has experience winning with a bunch of players outsiders may not recognize as premier talent at Butler. Green wonders if Stevens can do the same in the NBA. “I’ve seen him at Butler, how he shocked the world,” Green told reporters. “I was happy with the decision. I called him right after I found out. I think he’s going to do what he did at Butler, take that ‘rebuilding’ word out and we’re going to be the Celtics again.” If anybody knows about tanking, it’s Lee. Just one year after serving as a key piece on an NBA Finals team in Orlando as a rookie, Lee started 66 games for the New Jersey Nets team that won 12 games in 2009-10. He knows what “bad” looks like. He insists that’s now how these Celtics look. Rajon Rondo has yet to be traded, after all, and Avery Bradley was expected to become the fourth young veteran to join his teammates in Orlando to watch the summer league games this week. “I’ve been a part of rebuilding teams, and the talent we have on this team is a lot better,” Lee said. “We still have an All-Star in Rondo. We have a forming All-Star in Jeff Green. And then you have key role players like myself, Jared and Avery, so I think it’s all going to be a matter of everybody stepping up and contributing and playing at a high level to support the two that I mentioned. I think we’ll be fine.” Sullinger, who spoke with reporters earlier in the week, echoed Ainge’s comments in the wake of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn. “When you have Celtic pride, you don’t have time to rebuild,” Sullinger said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker