The Celtics opened training camp down at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, today, and, perhaps surprisingly, there's already a slew of storylines to discuss.
Doc Rivers Not Buying Baby Talk
During Media Day yesterday, an agitated Glen Davis sounded off on not having a set role with the team, claiming that he'll have to adjust his game for a third consecutive season with the additions of Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Head coach Doc Rivers caught wind of Davis's comments and suggested he's neither concerned nor interested in what Davis had to say.
"Let me put it like this: If Baby doesn't know his role by now, he's going to be sitting down a lot," said Rivers.
Yikes. This probably wasn't the start to training camp Davis was hoping for, especially when he claimed this past summer that this was the year we were going to see a more mature Glen Davis, both as a player and as a person. It might not have been in his best interest to claim the Celtics "don't know where they're going or what they're doing" on the first day of the new season. Consider it a learning experience?
Hit the jump for notes on the team's conditioning, the battle for the starting center spot, and even more fresh faces.
Is It Hot In Here?
Rivers compared the sweltering gymnasium of Salve Regina to the old Boston Garden in the 80's, in the midst of talking about the shape his players entered camp in. While noting that his guys aren't in bad shape, Rivers suggested that they're not in "Celtics shape". I'm sure it had something to do with the practice running for three hours, and also it most likely being the majority of the players' first scheduled, rigorous, and continuous practice in quite some time. Rivers noted that Shaq looked great, and Kevin Garnett looked "phenomenal and explosive".
Starting Gig Up For Grabs?
Both Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal spent time at the center spot with the first unit today, which suggests the team hasn't made a clear cut decision on who will be starting when the season kicks off late next month. While it was widely believed that Jermaine O'Neal would earn the spot, Rivers seems open to the idea of competition between the namesakes. Jermaine offers more mobility and range, while Shaq closer resembles Kendrick Perkins, who obviously gels pretty well with the foursome of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett (this starting five still has yet to lose a playoff series together).
Who do you think should be named the starter?
20 players are attending camp this year: Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, O'Neal (x2), Davis, Delonte West, Von Wafer, Luke Harangody, Avery Bradley, Perkins, Marquis Daniels, Semih Erden, and Nate Robinson, along with Tony Gaffney and newcomers Stephane Lasme, Jamar Smith, Mario West, and Chris Johnson. Bradley and Perkins did not participate in today's session due to injury, while Johnson sat out as well, but is expected to participate as early as tomorrow.
KG's One Loud Dude
We'll end on a comical note, as the following humorous clip popped up on Twitter. Yesterday, during Media Day, Rondo was sitting down for an interview with Comcast SportsNet's Mike Gorman, when he was interrupted by a screaming Kevin Garnett. Take a look.
Bonus Material: Check out ESPN Boston's YouTube page for a steady collection of player interviews.