The Celtics franchise is one with winning traditions, and when you put on the uniform, there is always pressure to win. I got to Boston early in my career; our team was very young and I think we were mostly expected to be competitive in the league. The crowd was always quick to know, if we didn’t bring it you heard boos at home. For the most part, we had a lot of fun. As we matured and gained experience we positioned ourselves to be contenders in the East.
When you play college ball at a powerhouse school, you are prepared to deal with that pressure. I believe spending my college years at Kentucky prepared me for the NBA experience and the expectations that came with it.
I loved being a Celtic. Boston has the best sport fans of any city — they are passionate and knowledgable. I enjoyed my time playing here and especially giving back to the community. Coming into a historic organization at an early point in my career was more than I could have hoped for.
I recently moved back to Boston — I really love this city and its people. The Celtics organization has a heavy focus on giving back to the community. I want to be a part of that, and I want to work close with the community partners in the city that became my home. I was fortunate enough to be a fan favorite because of my work ethic. That work ethic still gives me so many opportunities to network and give back. When I first came to Boston to play, I quickly knew that it would be home.
I was able to establish a tremendous relationship with the fans, city and organization. I think that connection allows me to continue to help in the community and help the Celtics reach their goals off the court.
Here are some answers to the questions posted in the comments of the prior blog. Feel free to ask more for the next one.
Since I was playing the 2/3 position there were a lot of players that I was not too excited about guarding. Here’s a short list: Scottie Pippen, Tony Kukoc, Steve Smith, Glen Rice, a healthy Grant Hill, Larry Johnson, Glenn Robinson and Jeff Hornacek.
Day to day routines depend on time of year, and game schedule. Usually the lifting schedules are set up to where you are required to get in a certain amounts of lifts each week or for the month. Those lifts occur before or after practice or sometimes after games. Generally players have a nutritionist that they can use. Guys become accustomed to eating healthy because each one understands the repercussions otherwise.
There really weren’t a lot of meetings to discuss roles. If there was a situation where the coach felt he should have gotten more from you, he would call you into the office. On the other side, a player who is upset with their playing time may go to the coach and ask how to get more minutes… what can be done to get more time on the floor.
Playing in New York can have a devastating effect if you are not getting your rest. There are plenty of night clubs and bars that can have you out until the early morning hours, meaning you won’t get your proper rest. You really have to stay on top of taking care of your body. The NBA season is long and your body is your temple. Living it up and overindulging off the court can cause major problems if you aren’t careful. It’s a good idea to have a hobby because there’s so much downtime and that’s when most athletes find themselves in trouble.
Until next time.