Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Pierce, now in the odd position of watching from the outside, wants to like what he sees.
“They’ve got a lot of good young talent,” he said. “I’ve had a chance to watch them a couple of times on TV. Obviously, their big rookies, you see (Jared) Sullinger, he’s taken the next step, he’s finally healthy. Then when they get Rondo back, this team has a bright future.
“Jeff Green, I expect him to emerge and really have a good season,” Pierce added. “Courtney Lee is comfortable out there. Avery (Bradley), it’s time for him to really step up. They really have some great young pieces to build on.”
But Pierce went further. He approached Green, Bradley and Brandon Bass, just as when he still occupied the main seat of authority in the locker room.
“I told Jeff he’s the veteran of the locker room now,” said Pierce. “Me and Kevin aren’t there, he’s the veteran. I told Brandon Bass he’s the veteran of the locker room now. I think they’re ready to assume that leadership position. I think they learned well, saw the things we were able to do in Boston and they’re ready to take over that role.”
Filling the leadership vacuum is just another aspect of the rebuild that has to shake itself out. It’s one thing to say “ok, you’re one of the leaders now,” but it’s another for that guy to step up and help hold that locker room together.
Personally, I think Gerald Wallace has assumed a lot of that role on the floor so far this preseason. He’s been one of the steadiest guys out there. But with the ever-present threat of a trade looming over him, the team can’t lean on him too much.
So it’s up to guys like Green and Bass to join Rondo as the guys who set the example for the younger players in the locker room. The sad fact is that younger guys pick up some bad habits along the way that need to be checked in the NBA. Things like nutrition, a professional work ethic, proper rest, dealing with the media… those are all things that can affect a player’s performance beyond the stuff they work on on the practice court.
Take the case of Mario Chalmers in Miami (I know… set aside your Heat hate for a minute. I’m making a point). He made a bet with Ray Allen and LeBron Jame that he could lose 10 pounds in a week.
The weight loss was overshadowed during training camp because of Allen’s physique gaining all the attention. Chalmers, too, put in the offseason work. He eliminated fried foods and soda from his diet, dining more on salads.
“It’s worked out pretty good, actually,” Chalmers said.
[…] “I feel a lot faster. It helps me get to different spaces on the court and small cracks easier. [Losing the weight] was more of a conscious thing of winning, helping the team. It wasn’t an individual bet but what can I do to help the team get better.”
James added: “It’s made him a little quicker. It’s made him a lot quicker, actually. It’s going to help us out this year.”
Now, I know you don’t give a shit how good Chalmers feels going into this season, but this is an example of the bad habits younger guys carry into the league, and ways veterans can get those guys into better ones.
I think nutrition is a very underrated problem for a lot of guys in the league. These guys have amazing genetics, they work their asses off in the gym and on the floor, and many of them think that entitles them to free passes when it comes to meals. They’re eating burgers, fries, and all sorts of other crap and not realizing what it does to their energy on the floor.
Those of you who’ve been around here for a while are probably reminded of the big cheeseburger incident years ago (before the Garnett trade). Doc was pissed because someone was eating a cheeseburger before a game, which isn’t exactly a rare occurrence in this league.
It’s up to guys like Green, Bass, and Rondo to show these kids what it means to be a pro… that it’s not all glitz and glamor. Some of these kids can really stand to learn a lesson or two in NBA life, and it goes well beyond just practicing and lifting weights.
On Page 2: Pierce gets LeBron back for saying stupid shit
Just a little message from Pierce there.
“I heard what you said.”
I love it when guys police themselves like this. And then a little humor to top it off.
Pierce’s response to LeBron quote about Celtics guys was a question. “I left Boston?”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) October 18, 2013
Pierce and KG played it perfectly last night. I’m done with this high school crap. Let’s just hope someone knocks Miami off this year.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Mailbag: Give it time | Celtics on #NBARank | Herald: Humphries scores big money with Kardashian’s bling | Globe: Celtics assistant Ron Adams is well informed and well respected | CSNNE: Celtics improving on the boards of late | Celtics grades at 3rd quarter mark | Welsh: Celtics keys to a successful season | WEEI: Kevin Garnett’s camouflage capris could be yours