Fabio Anderle, our overseas correspondent, arrived in Rome this morning and settled in quickly thanks to the help of good friend Mike Gorman. He sent us this e-mail with his first day observations and he will be reporting from Celtics training camp through the first pre-season game this Saturday before he joins us on Celtics Stuff Live this Sunday Night. He has also captured some audio that I will try to clean up and post on the blog later in the day (the gym they are in is not conducive to good audio capture). Here is Fabio's report...
We all heard people say this summer that Paul Pierce was like a kid in a candy store. Well, as your man in Italy I was even more excited today when I had a chance to be part of the Celtics’ Circus for the first time in my life. Paired with my partner, the incredible Michele Pulcini, we reached the Palafonte and suddenly were drawn into the Celtics World. Michele said that soccer players are not as gentle as these tall big men, but I found that the whole Celtics staff was helpful even after a workout which was described as grueling.
Hearsay (the media only got to see the last 10 minutes of the session) is that Estéban Batista is gaining more and more ground, and from what I saw he was going really hard to the basket. He scored on a couple of drives and two free throws as the White Team nipped the Green Team (which sported Kevin Garnett, James Posey, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce). Leon Powe found it somewhat difficult to handle the Uruguayan big man and with a swift move to the paint Batista was able to avoid Garnett’s block and score from the other side of the basket.
Paul Pierce and Eddie House went at each other pretty hard, with a great deal of trash talking and a couple of contested calls. They seemed to enjoy that a lot. Ray Allen is still having some troubles at finding his shooting touch, but he is as smooth as ever, and lean like a greyhound. KG was his usual self and you could hear him being vocal from outside the gym. After the session was over he continued shooting treys and sinking them at a 66% clip. I counted them and he was 8 out of 12 when I stopped watching him shoot as I tried to hear what Ray was telling the press. Rajon Rondo, shirtless and exposing the "RR" tattooed on his back, kept shooting from outside after the scrimmage, sinking most of his shots and displaying an unexpected touch.
I skipped to James Posey and then to Glen Davis. Mike Gorman, a class act, made sure everybody in the Celtics organization got to know us and we even had a "close encounter of the third kind" with Paul Pierce who was sporting an ice pack on his left knee after the workout. Scot Pollard and Gabe Pruitt didn’t train with the team as Doo and Norton took care of them in the lower gym working with them on rehab. Pollard said he is feeling better and better, though, and made the media aware of his funky demeanor when he let out a scary yell letting everyone know that it was time for the team to board the bus.
- Rivers said that Rajon is going to be the main man at point guard even though Eddie House and Tony Allen are both coming up strong. - Big Baby said that he is very excited to play with all these future Hall of Famers.
- I asked Doc if he thinks that being far from home would help the team develop the right chemistry and he answered that that will definitely help.
- Esteban Batista said all the right things: he is glad to be with the Celtics and he’ll fight as hard as he can to stay with the team.
- James Posey, when asked if he has the same feeling as in his Miami days, pointed out that while he was in Florida he had the big inside presence of Shaquille O’Neal and a great guard in Dwyane Wade; but that in Boston the stars are capable of doing a lot of different things which can make things easier for each other.