If joining a franchise with a storied history and a legacy of winning is appealing to players, they probably can’t do better than the Boston Celtics. However, signing on the dotted line with that kind of club does present a problem; one that new Celtic Dennis Schroder is facing right now.
With so many legends of the game having stepped onto the parquet floor over the years, the rafters at the Garden are flush with retired jersey numbers. As a result, incoming Celtics occasionally find themselves forced to abandon their longtime numbers in favor of something outside the norm.
Schroder, who has worn No. 17 for the entirety of his NBA career, stepped into this situation in a big, bad way. That number, of course, was the same one worn by John Havlicek, a Hall of Famer and top-five player in Celtics history. So, after eight years in the Association, Schroder needs new digits. To that end, the high-scoring combo guard is empowering fans to come up with his Celtics number.
Fans Voting on Schroder’s New Number via App
As relayed by MassLive, Schroder has given fans the opportunity to vote on which number he’ll wear during the 2021-22 season. They can do so by way of his new app, DS17. Schroder and his fans narrowed the field down to five possible numbers in an earleir post on the app — Nos. 8, 71, 80, 84 and 96.
No. 38 had been a top choice as well, however, that number was already slated to be worn by Celtics two-way signee Sam Hauser.
The first two choices hearken back to his old No. 17 — one plus seven is eight, while 71 is the number in reverse. As of this writing, though, the No. 96 has gained significant traction in the poll. It’s a development that the former Laker would likely prefer to squash; the German soccer club Hannover 96 is a rival of his hometown team.
“As you can probably imagine, coming from Braunschweig, number 96 is not necessarily my favorite number,” Schroder wrote.
In recognition of his former digits, fan voting for the new number will end on September 17 at 17:17 German local time.
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Forsberg: Schroder Should Embrace Sixth Man Role
In spite of his high-level scoring chops and Kemba Walker’s departure from the team, many believe that Schroder won’t be the Celtics’ starting point guard next season. That crowd is of the opinion that the first-team spot is Marcus Smart’s to lose.
If Schroder is relegated to the second unit, Cs insider Chris Forsberg is calling for the 27-year-old to embrace the role, even as he’s playing for his next contract:
“Schroder needs to recognize that the most obvious pathway to his next big payday is helping the Celtics exceed expectations while embracing a team-first approach. Reports this offseason indicated that Anthony Davis and the Lakers were frustrated by Schroder’s play last season with a suggestion that he too often stepped outside his point guard role. Schroder can erase that narrative and restore his free-agent value by simply channeling his OKC days.”
During his two-year run with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Schroder started in just 16 of his 144 games played. However, he still played heavy minutes and averaged 17 points per contest.