Just before the 2022-23 NBA season began, the Boston Celtics were in complete disarray. Ime Udoka, the head coach who led the C's to their first Finals appearance in over a decade, was suspended and Boston was searching for a new leader.

But instead of panicking, Celtics star Jayson Tatum tried to unite the locker room ahead of the new season. While on Kevin Hart's comedic YouTube show, “Cold as Balls,” Tatum shared the message he gave his teammates in the aftermath of Udoka's untimely exit.

“I remember I talked to the team and I was like ‘We have a decision to make: we could either separate or let this bring us together,'” he recalled. “And I think we just made a conscious decision that this was going to make us tougher and better.”

Following this talk, the Celtics hired first-time head coach Joe Mazzulla. The Green Team ended up going 57-25 in the regular season before losing to the Miami Heat in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. While it's not where Tatum and company wanted to end up, Udoka's departure didn't derail the season.

Heading into the 2023-24 campaign, the C's will maintain a little stability with Mazzulla at the helm and Tatum and fellow star Jaylen Brown still commanding the offense. Although veteran guard Marcus Smart is no longer the heart and soul of the Celtics after being traded to Memphis, his absence leaves plenty of room for Tatum to step up as a leader again. He did so when Udoka was suspended, so hopefully he can resume the role and be the vocal, go-to guy Boston needs on and off the court.