Chris Forsberg

Recent Celtics player: Oshae Brissett will win over Boston fans

Oshae Brissett has the chance to fill an important role in Boston.

NBC Universal, Inc.

LAS VEGAS -- If ever there was a recent authority on how a young player can endear themselves to Boston fans with a maximum-effort style of play, it might be Aaron Nesmith. 

While Nesmith never quite tapped into his full offensive potential after being drafted 14th overall by the Celtics in 2020, his relentless desire to make energy plays became his calling card -- and earned Nesmith the playful monicker "Crash" for sacrificing his body in those moments.

So we asked Nesmith, in town this weekend to watch the Pacers' summer league entry, to give us the scouting report on former Indiana teammate Oshae Brisett after the Celtics signed the 6-foot-7 forward at the start of free agency.

"Celtics fans are going to love Oshae," said Nesmith. "He plays with a lot of energy, a lot of effort, and a lot of hustle. He’s going to do well there."

The Celtics dealt Nesmith to the Pacers last summer in the swap that delivered Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. Nesmith slotted as a Pacers starter last season with Brissett’s role diminished.

Even in joining a more talented team, Brissett will attempt to help the Celtics fill bench minutes at the wing position after the team overhauled its personnel this summer. The departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams could open up playing time for a wing, and while most of those minutes should fall to Sam Hauser, there will be a chance for Brissett and rookie Jordan Walsh to provide extra depth.

Brissett was courtside for Walsh’s very encouraging summer debut on Saturday at Cox Pavilion, and mingled with teammates Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard in the process. 

Brissett’s offensive numbers won’t inspire confidence, especially after shooting just 31 percent beyond the 3-point arc last season and struggling to finish at the rim. He will get better looks in Boston but knows his role starts with energy and feels he can distinguish himself with his rebounding and hustle.

"Energy, excitement," the 25-year-old Brissett answered when asked what he can bring to Boston. "I feel like, last year, watching [the Celtics] they always had that. Obviously, playing at the Garden is different but they had that with the players. I feel like I can bring that in a different way, coming in off the bench, starting, whatever it is, whatever the team needs me to do, bring that energy and heart to the team."

Brissett noted how Tatum, Al Horford, and Derrick White were among the first players to reach out to him after news of his signing with Boston emerged. He also detailed how he and Brogdon became fast friends when Brissett first joined the Pacers on a pair of 10-day deals in 2021. But he’s going to need to find more consistency to crack Boston’s rotation. 

"I feel like right now is a time for me to get to that next level, be in the playoffs and do everything I can to win those games," said Brissett. "This team is trending in the right direction and I feel like now we have a lot of great pieces to really get over that hump. I’m excited to get to training camp and start and just build."

Most importantly, Brissett knows his role alongside a talent-gushing roster.

“Well, they got the rock, they can do what they want,” said Brissett. "I’m gonna go crash and rebound. And I feel like I got the easy job. That's what they do and I'm excited to play with them, excited to watch, excited to be a part of the team and be out there and show what I can do.”

Brissett said getting calls from president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Joe Mazzulla made him feel appreciated while navigating the free-agent process. A big night that included six 3-pointers against Boston back in February 2022 certainly left an impression with Celtics brass.

"I was just hot, man. It's one of those days,” said Brissett. "Hoping to have a couple of those this year."

Contact Us