While the rest of the Celtics practice, scrimmage and play pre-season games, rookie 1st round draft pick Avery Bradley largely remains a spectator.
Call it a mini status report and a head check for an injured but recovering NBA rookie on one of the most intriguing and talented teams in the NBA.
The 6’2" guard was once the nationally top rated player coming out of high school (by at least one service). What are your early impressions of the NBA and the Celtics?
"Well first, I just can’t wait until I get a chance to play. I mean, I’m still not 100% right now so I don’t want to go out there and take any chances and hurt myself again so…right now right I’m just taking it day by day.
Trying to get back but….like I said, I just can’t wait until I get a chance to back out there on the floor."
What do you think about a game like tonight?
"Exciting! I mean it just shows, I mean… it feels like a dream’s coming true cause I always wanted to be in the NBA. Games like this, coming down to the last shots…it’s always good to see games like that on TV. Now I’m sitting here on the front row on the bench on the team that’s playing the game so….it’s really exciting. I just feel blessed and I’m happy that I get a chance to play on the Celtics and be part of this team and this organization."
So Avery gets closer to living the dream. Close enough to have the best seat in the house for every game, right in the front row…on the players’ bench. Not too shabby. One day that won’t be enough. Right now it’s absolutely great.
CB: It’s a talented team.
"Yeah it really is. Not only our team, even our coaching staff. We have a really good coaching staff. I’m just happy that I got picked by the Celtics because it’s a real good organization and I’ll love playing for them."
There is no doubt that the Celtics are one of the finer organizations in the NBA in a number of ways. Legacy tops the list, but the owners, led by Wyc Grousbeck, Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers make up a solid top management team that appears to conduct itself in an organized and professional way. Let’s put it this way. He could be in much, much worse situations than ‘healing in Boston’.
What are the kinds of things that Doc has talked to you about that he wants you to work on? You come with the reputation for NBA ready defense. What is he is asking you to work on this year?
"We really haven’t talked. It would probably be a better question for coach. But I’m here to do whatever my team needs me to do."
Are you working any kinds of certain drills or not yet?
"Yeah, I work on things every day. Ball handling, shooting, I try to get everything in. I try to do everything my teammates do. But I just take it day-by-day. I don’t try to do anything I can’t do yet."
Bradley plays tough defense, drives and hits the jumper.
Working on the outside shot?
Someday the three might be in there?
And someday…maybe not soon…Bradley will no longer be watching an NBA game up close and happy with his great seat. Someday Bradley will be playing in one of those tightly contested contests. That is when the rest of the dream starts to come through.
Right now there’s another guard on the team actually drafted 2 slots later (21st) who is turning out pretty well for the Celtics. For now, Avery gets a great seat.