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Hornets’ Terry Rozier speaks about his ‘love-hate’ relationship with Celtics fans

Terry Rozier

Charlotte Hornets point guard Terry Rozier will return to the TD Garden in Boston on Sunday for the first regular season game since he was a member of the Celtics during the 2018-19 season.

Rozier told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that he is excited for the energy in the building after getting a warm reception during the preseason, but also noted that he has a little bit of a love-hate relationship with the fan base:

Perhaps Rozier’s prior statements about his love for Boston had to be put on the back burners in light of the rather rude welcome the fans gave Kyrie Irving when the Brooklyn Nets visited the Celtics in November.

Oh, and Irving did not even make the trip to Boston for that game.

Rozier became a beloved figure especially during the 2017-18 season, when he took over for an injured Irving and helped the Celtics to within a game of reaching the NBA Finals. Rozier started all 19 games, averaging 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game while asserting himself as a legitimate playmaker.

However, Rozier was once again relegated to the bench last season, and he struggled to recapture the success that he had experienced during the 2018 playoffs. The 25-year-old subsequently elected to sign with the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, and he is having the best season of his career.

Rozier is averaging 17.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting close to 40 percent from beyond the arc.

He has been far more efficient while also getting a more realistic usage rate for a starter, and both he and Devonte’ Graham have helped to make the Hornets a respectable team in the Eastern Conference.

Rozier’s departure was far less controversial than Irving’s and the Celtics likely were not going to pay him $58 million anyway. The fan’s reception for Rozier should be a lot more positive than it was for Irving.