“Once we got to Boston, Jason told me he was going to look after me,” Christmas said. “[He told me] we were going to get in the gym together a lot, he wanted to see me be the best player I could be for Boston and be the best person I could be, period.”
The hours spent together in the gym quickly accumulated. Terry wasted no time encouraging Christmas to push himself. The rookie thrived on the veteran’s passion for the game. Soon, he began incorporating Terry’s methods into his own preparation.
Even though Christmas is entering his first NBA season he has years of overseas experience, having played in Greece, Israel and Turkey. At 25 years old, he had his own routine and techniques. Yet after watching Terry for a few short weeks, Christmas has made changes to his approach.
“He likes to get in and out, but he goes real hard for an hour,” said Christmas. “It’s something I’m not used to. I’m used to doing my thing, take a break, getting back at it. He goes straight through.
Terry has stressed that succeeding in the NBA goes beyond what a player does with the ball in his hands. Christmas echoed the advice he has received from the former Sixth Man of the Year to always stay ready, regardless of how many minutes he is – or isn’t – playing. If Christmas missteps on a play, Terry stops to walk him through it. If the rookie has a question about a strategy, the veteran talks it over with him.
Terry has also offered ways to save energy on the court, eat healthier, and incorporate more rest into his daily routine. Most significantly, he has provided Christmas with unwavering support and will continue to as he transitions into the league during his rookie year.
Never underestimate the value of a veteran mentoring a rookie.
This reminds me of Gerald Green’s rookie season with the Celtics. The dude was an athletic freak but was (reportedly) a fast food junkie. If only Gerald had a veteran looking over his shoulder… he might have blossomed sooner.
The rest of the links: