We had a lot of different agendas. Guys were looking out for their own situations more than the team situation. That came through all year. It was never anything really big, but it was there all year. You could see it in little things, and I think when you take it as a whole it really had an effect on our season.”
It's interesting to hear that the Celtics were distracted last year, and I'm not doubting it. What I am questioning is the impact it had on the team. 27-2 start. Two long winning streaks. One game away from the ECFs, despite two major injuries and no bench. The distractions don't seem like they made a big impact. However, I would be curious to know if Starbarius was a distraction. Come to think of it, I'd be curious to hear about Leon and Glen. I suppose there could have been some individual stuff going on there, too.
Later on, Doc adds:
Earlier in the week, Rivers spoke quietly about the hangover from the 2007-08 championship run. It’s his opinion that the champagne toasts clouded his players’ thinking at times. Lost on the way was the more prevalent sense of team that made for a great regular season and allowed the Celtics to battle through a 26-game playoff journey.“Once you have success, it’s a boost to you and your confidence,” he said. “That should be good, but sometimes guys take it in a different direction. They start thinking a little too much about their own situation, and it can be hard not to when everywhere you go people are telling you how great you are. It can be hard to keep things in perspective, and I think that was a problem for us last year.
So basically the guys were full of themselves. No surprise there. But having massive egos didn't prevent Shaq and Kobe from repeating.