Juancho Hernangomez clarifies critical comments about Celtics

The Boston Celtics have entered very long way this season.

While the Celtics have three wins from an NBA title after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of Thursday night’s NBA Finals, they were an under-.500 team going into the first more than two months of the 2021-22 season of Campaign was plagued by inconsistencies.

Juancho Hernangomez, who was in the Celtics roster from late August 2021 to January 19, 2022, shared his take on Boston’s early struggles in a recent interview with Spanish newspaper El País.

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“I wasn’t happy there, it was very difficult,” Hernangomez told El País’ Daniel Arribas in Spanish, translated by Yahoo Sports. “There was no communication, I didn’t know what was expected of me. There were a lot of super selfish players, no team building. I lost my love for basketball a bit.”

While it’s possible some of Hernangomez’s comments were lost in translation, these are some harsh comments from the Spanish big man, who appeared in just 18 games for Boston and averaged 1.1 points in 5.3 minutes a game .

But Hernangomez joined Peacock’s “The Rich Eisen Show” on Friday and offered a slightly more measured look at his time with the Celtics.

“We had a difficult start,” said Hernangomez. “We’ve got a few close losses, a new coach, everything new. Everyone tried to figure out their roles. I was so happy there. I was so happy with the city, with the team, with the fans.

“… They’re three wins (away from) the title. I mean, they deserve it. They work so hard. We just had a bad start to the season. We didn’t find our game but I’m happy they changed things and they deserve to win the championship.”

Hernangomez’s frustration during his tenure at Boston is understandable. He was never able to find a role in the Celtics’ rotation, and the Cs were 10th in the Eastern Conference, 23-23, when the team traded him to the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics struggled to play team basketball earlier in the season, with Marcus Smart even calling Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown too selfish.

Shortly after defeating Hernangomez, however, things clicked for the Celtics, winning 28 of their last 36 regular-season games and storming into the NBA Finals thanks to greatly improved chemistry and a top-notch defense.

And while Hernangomez may not have loved his Boston experience, he seems to be rooting for his former team as they prepare for Sunday’s Game 2 at the Chase Center.

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