Kevin Garnett explains how Ime Udoka situation will affect Celtics locker room

KG explains how 'dark times' will impact Celtics locker room originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kevin Garnett knows a thing or two about leading a locker room through rough patches. The Boston Celtics legend went through his fair share of ups and downs over the course of his 21-year NBA career.

So with the C's currently dealing with adversity in the form of head coach Ime Udoka's season-long suspension, Garnett knows what it'll take for the team to overcome the distraction.

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KG and former C's teammate Paul Pierce discussed the Udoka situation on an episode of Showtime Basketball's "All The Smoke" with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Garnett believes now is the time for Boston's stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, to show they've evolved as leaders.

“Is this the time where Tatum and Jay Brown step up? The locker room, the cohesiveness gotta be on a thousand,” Garnett said. “Just think about it. Your real leader, your general is not going to be there for a whole year. Just think about all that promise, all that investment they took on getting to the Finals and what that year was like. You’ve all been there. It’s hard as (expletive) to get to the Finals. And think about going home as a loser, every time you see somebody being reminded of that (expletive) and then you come in here to this.

“Dark times show true self in personnel,” Garnett said. “This is when people step up. This is when you come out and grow wings.”

Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season as head coach. While there's no doubt Boston still has the talent to compete for a championship under interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, Garnett's point is well-taken. The season will be a major test on and off the court for Tatum, Brown, and other Celtics veterans such as Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Malcolm Brogdon.

The journey begins Sunday when the Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets for their preseason opener. The regular season opens Oct. 18. vs. the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.

You can watch the full clip with Garnett, Pierce, Jackson, and Barnes below: