BOSTON — After watching the Boston Red Sox roll to yet another World Series victory — their fourth in 14 years — members of the Boston Celtics said the Red Sox’ success was motivating.
“They set the standards about what’s expected here in Boston and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Aron Baynes said. “It’s a great thing for the city and a great thing for the players to be able to go out here and enjoy it for the next couple of days. It’s going to be fun for the city, and hopefully we can feed a bit off that excitement as well.”
“I’ve talked multiple times about how team-oriented they were,” Brad Stevens said. “We pointed to Brock Holt’s performance in the New York series, and then you look at Jackie Bradley Jr., who was the ALCS MVP, doesn’t play until the last half of the game last night. Then Mookie Betts struggled all the way through, and yet clearly was an unbelievable leader, smiled and people got great motivation from his presence. Just go down the line with all those guys. The pitchers. It was incredible. I’m really thankful that in my time here I’ve been able to watch a couple of championships with my 12-year-old son. That’s hard to beat.”
Stevens has said repeatedly he draws inspiration from Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who helped guide the club to an incredibly successful season. Stevens said he was in attendance at the team’s first meeting in Spring Training, where he first saw Cora’s personality shining through.
“You could tell he had a special way about him,” Stevens said. “It takes a lot for everyone to sacrifice a little bit more for the team, but that environment was something special.”
Stevens has preached about the Celtics following the Red Sox’ example for good reason. Like the Red Sox, the Celtics have a lot of stars who will need to sacrifice in order to succeed, and like the Red Sox, those sacrifices could lead to a special season.
“Big congratulations to those guys, they had a great year,” Gordon Hayward said. “It’s only right they won the whole thing. They call it Title Town for a reason, so now we have to do our job.”
Hayward was asked about the renewed Boston/Los Angeles rivalry.
“It is cool, that was actually a little bit before me, but it’s definitely still I think really cool — you’ve got East Coast, West Coast in baseball too,” Hayward said. “Indianapolis, we only have a Triple A team, so I wasn’t a huge baseball guy growing up but I got a chance to go over to Fenway both when I came to visit and I threw out the first pitch, so I’m happy for them.”