Rozier didn't quit. He tried his heart out. He just failed.
It is not the same thing.
I think a lot of observers disagree. His defense and hustle this past season seemed to regress sharply. Thatís a reflection of effort.
Rozier's defense went as his offense went. The more he struggled on offense the more up and down his defense became. This is natural. It is what happens to most players. Especially young players.
In fact, it happened to the team as the whole throughout the year. When they struggled on offense, their defense dropped off.
Rozier was trying. He was just failing.
Failure is not quitting.
I don't think that's true. A lot of players, when their shot isn't falling, will try to affect the game in other ways like trying even harder on defense.
I don't think it's fair to say Rozier "quit" but before he ever made these comments there was a pretty strong consensus that Rozier's effort was severely lacking and these comments cast that characterization in an even worse light.
They should do that. It is what they are meant to do. and some do but most don't.
The ones that do have terrific mentality. Strong not easily rattled. Warrior like players.
That is why some GMs say you learn more about players from their bad games than when they are playing well. That is when you see their character.
As for the C's, Tatum does the same. So does Kyrie. When their shot isn't falling, their engagement on defense drops off.
Then when you look at Rozier - the situation is different. It is more extreme. It was just one or two bad games. It was not a bad streak of games. It was a season-long funk. And when you are spiraling like Rozier was this year where it is one bad game after another ... how can that not mess with you?
What we learned about Rozier is that he doesn't have ironclad mental strength. He struggled. Over and over and over again and it affected him. Like it would with pretty much everyone. Especially when in the media spotlight and millions of people are judging what you are doing.
Rozier was trying and he was fighting but each time he failed there was a little less fight in him.
He was pressing and trying so hard. We all saw it. Looking to make things right. Make home run plays. On offense and on defense. The repeated failures performance were screwing with his head and that effect was growing throughout the year.
Not smart basketball. But definitely not quitting either.
The guy was trying. Just failing.
I am all-in on the criticism of Rozier performances. Not on the stuff about him being a quitter, bad egg or locker room cancer. I think that is sensationalist stuff. Blown out of all proportion.