Many of the new faces to the team are in Waltham early to prove they belong with the Defending Champs (that never, ever gets old).
After a largely quiet summer at HealthPoint as Celtics players rest up from the title run, things have gotten a bit busier of late. Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen and Glen Davis have been around for a few days here and there, while yesterday rookies J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and recent signee Patrick O’Bryant were all practicing on the court.
While Giddens returned to the practice facility this week for the first time since he was introduced to the media the week after the draft - instead, choosing to go back to Dallas and New Mexico to work out during the summer amid an unusually long contract negotiation for a first-round pick - Walker has been on the parquet since shortly after knee surgery in early July.
Walker, whom Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge deemed a candidate for European League duty at the time of the draft - "At the beginning, we were thinking that maybe we might send him overseas for a year, but the more we saw him working, the more we saw him here, it was evident that we wanted to keep him here." - said his presence of Waltham may have helped the Celtics to make him a more immediate part of their plans.
Apparently making good on his vow to ramp up his work ethic and prove himself after two dismal seasons in Golden State, O’Bryant had a long individual workout with Celtics assistant coach Clifford Ray. The workout focused on shooting from the post all the way out to the top of the key and left the slender 7-footer with a sweat-soaked shirt.
Unlike last season, when many of the components of the new team arrived shortly after Labor Day to begin their clandestine workouts and bonding, the long championship run will likely keep most of the team away until about a week before the Sept. 29 Media Day.