The media was back in Waltham. The players were in uniform, smiles on faces. They looked loose and excited to start their bid to reclaim championship glory.
At 4 pm the Celtics were scheduled to hop on a bus and head to Newport, R.I. for the start of training camp tomorrow.
So many questions were needing be answered. Lets highlight a few big subjects (in order) addressed today…
#1 - KG’s Health
The greatest part about watching coverage of the Celtics Media Day was seeing KG, back in uniform, with a smile on his face and talking about his injury/recovery. Finally! Some comments from the man himself to put me at ease a bit.
First things first, Garnett admitted that the injury was more severe then initially thought. He told the media,
“No surprises, other then the severity of the injury”, Garnett told media. “I didn’t know it was that bad”.
Garnett was then asked to elaborate on his comment.
“Put it like this: A bone spur the size of this tape recorder ended up being the size of this microphone… It was pretty severe, but the best thing about it is that I got it out of the way. I’m almost 100% going forward. The best part about it is I’m playing without pain, which is something I have not had in some time.”
Kevin admitting to being a little bit rusty and his timing is off but being cleared to play five on five is a big step considering last week’s news that he was unable to take part in full scrimmage.
To me, the most substantial thing KG said was that he was no longer playing in pain. That’s huge. Most telling was Garnett’s attitude and body language with the media.
The Big Ticket has never been able to pretend like he is in a good mood and feeling well. His lack of comments and appearances in the media have fueled speculation over the severity of his injury and his progress in recovery. Yesterday’s media appearances by Garnett closed the door on the injury debate that has been burning since February.
Though it’s clearly not that simple and Garnett, admittedly, has a long way to go to get to 100%, at least we know he is improving steadily.
#2 - Rondo’s Head
It appears to me, that Rondo’s head is screwed on completely straight after the trade rumors and Danny Ainge scrutiny early in the post season. Rondo said:
“I don’t really think about that (contract). I just try to focus on camp.”
That’s great Rajon! Just keep focusing on the up coming season and perfecting your free throws and mid range jump shot. Danny Ainge, in typical fashion, continued to send mixed messages regarding Rondo’s contract. After starting his own rumors regarding trading Rondo back in June, now Ainge is saying he hopes Rajon is the Celtics point guard ten years from now. Ainge continued by saying,
Ainge said that his plan is to have Rondo be the team’s point guard for the next ten years and then said he won’t be commenting further on any contract negotiations.
Rondo is playing it smart by not getting involved in contract negotiations, not making comments regarding those negotiations and letting his agent do all the dirty work.
In other news, Rondo claims to have gained 11 lbs is muscle. Speaking of gaining weight…
#3 - Does anyone know how much weight Big Baby lost this off-season?
After scouring all comments made from media day in detail, I found no indications of how much weight Glen Davis dropped this summer. There was some discussion about Davis’ weight loss before his contract was signed but nothing has been mentioned since.
I hope Baby dropped a significant amount of weight and continued to work on his game around the basket. Looking at pictures posted on Red’s Army, it looks as if both Perk and Davis both streamlined their bodies. That’s good news. Perk noticeably lost a significant amount of weight. In the pictures, it looks as if Baby was trying to show off the amount of weight he lost but I can’t see a drastic weight change from last year. If anyone knows numbers, please let me know.
#4 - Rasheed Wallace
Sheed was in good spirits. Never lacking giving a comment, Rasheed discussed the high basketball IQ of the Celtics, his relationship with Kendrick Perkins (Sheed said they are cool), and the fact that KG is a great story teller.
It’s great to have Rasheed Wallace on board.
#5 - Doc Rivers
I have always been a fan of Doc Rivers (even in the bad years) but, even I can admit, by mid season hearing Doc’s politically correct sound bites to the media gets old.
After a few months of not hearing from Doc, I was ready to hear all the “you know fella’s…” and “Our guys…” and Doc held nothing back. He discussed trying to keep KG from going too hard, team chemistry, Red’s influence on his coaching style and winning the championship as the Celtics only goal.
Perhaps Doc may be facing the most challenging task of his coaching career. The gelling of talent on this team will be vital to the team’s success.
Adding Marquis Daniels and Rasheed Wallace is definitely to the team’s benefit but only if the team’s chemistry gels as well as it did in 2008 when the Big Three came together. Doc will have a big part in making sure that happen.
To me, the greatest part of media day was summed up in a photo. The Big Three, together again, at the press table (courtesy of the Boston Globe) just like in 2008.
Yesterday only furthered my addictive cravings for NBA basketball!
More news to follow from training camp…
Nick Gelso covers the Boston Celtics and NBA for Boston Sports Then and Now. You can check out more of his great work on his blog: North Station Sports.