News hit last night shortly before tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder that Celtics guard Courtney Lee has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jerryd Bayless.
Despite only playing for Boston for a season and a half, Courtney Lee was one of the longest tenured Celtics on the 2013-14 team and had formed a tight knit bond with his teammates who made up this new young core.
After the loss to the Thunder last night, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley spoke to the media about the trade.
"We talked," Green said of Lee. "It's a business. Things happen. My job is to go out there and play basketball. He's still a good friend of mine and always will be. So I wish the best for him and we just have to continue to focus on what we need to accomplish this year."
"We just all wished the best for each other," Bradley said. "We're still going to be a family. We just want to see one another do well. He said that to everybody in here and we all said the same to him. Wherever he goes we just wish him the best. We know he'll do well."
While the team will certainly get time to say goodbye to their friend, it will be while they prepare for their next game against the Denver Nuggets in the second game of a five game west coast road trip.
Last night Courtney Lee took to social media to say a quick goodbye to all of his fans here in Boston.
Would like to thank every1 in the celtics organization for the opportunity to be a celtic, I enjoyed my time in Boston and am grateful. Would also like to thank @celtics for showcasing my desire to give back to the community and also making me look good in the pictures lol. Would also like to thank the fans for the amazing year and a half journey, we started off a little rocky but I got my game back right so thanks for the extra motivation. #allgoodthingscometoaend!!!
As hard as it must be for players to be traded and teams to change midstream, the one phrase that accompanies any story like this is, "it's a business." Both the Celtics and Grizzlies are in the business of winning basketball games, and that is something that hopefully Courtney Lee will be able to help the Grizzlies do.
Jeff Green said it best with his closing remarks after the loss to the Thunder last night.
"We just have to move on, we can't dwell too much on it."
The Celtics are back in action tomorrow night, January 7th at 9PM EST against the Denver Nuggets.
Photo Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Padraic O'Connor 1/06/2014 09:28:00 AM Tweet Edit