Jayson Tatum said it. So did Semi Ojeleye. Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward brought the phrase up, as well.
It seems that’s how they all view the 2019-20 season.
In a way, focusing so much on a new beginning can be counterproductive. Thinking about starting over means you’re aware of what went wrong in the past. If you think so much about not making the same mistakes, you’re inclined to repeat them because they’re top-of-mind.
Now, the uniform line could be coincidental. Some put an emphasis on the phrase, some used it to support their larger point.
Ultimately, the “fresh start” slogan is a sign things are a little different with this year’s team.
Everyone was all about their individual goals last year. That’s been brought up by current and now-ex-Celtics, as well as the front office.
Now, Tatum won’t even bring up his personal expectations. All he claims to care about is winning. Same goes for Daniel Theis, among others.
Jaylen Brown — who, prior to last season, asked Danny Ainge how the 2018-19 Celtics stacked up against the ‘86 team — doesn’t want to share any personal expectations either.
“My mantra for myself and for my teammates is ‘just come out and hoop,’” Brown said. “Just come out and play basketball and get better every single day and get better and see where that takes us.”
For the group coming in — Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, the rookies and Vincent Poirier — this is an actual fresh start. Their presence should help the returning Celtics move on from last year.
Regardless, they’re together with their focus on the here and now. That gives some reason to think history shouldn’t repeat itself entirely in 2019-20.