- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics seem stung by the suggestion that their hijinks off the court during training camp somehow diminished the hard work they put in on the court. Coach Doc Rivers said that hasn't stopped the joking, but both he and captain Paul Pierce made sure to stress Monday that Boston's No. 1 focus remains Banner 18.
"We're a loose, focused, hard-working group," said Pierce. "A lot of people say, 'They went down [to Newport] to have fun and goofed around.' But that's not necessarily the case. We got in a lot of good work and I think Doc was pleased with the work we got in. We really got better down there and we're taking it all in stride. There's a time and a place for everything and I think that we're having a good balance between the two. We know when to have our fun, but we know when to buckle down when it's time to focus."
Rivers said as long as his team's shenanigans don't upset anyone, he's fine with his players balancing work and play.
"I could really care less, they're serious in practice," said Rivers. "After that, they're grown men, I don't care how they act. If they wanna have fun or embarrass themselves, or do whatever they want to do, I really don't care. The only rule I always have is called the respect rule. If anything is getting where to disrespecting someone to point where problem, then it's a problem. They enjoy each other. I'm sure they'll cross the line at some point ... they'll get it. That's fine."
Celtics players might have toed that line Monday when Nate Robinson posted a locker room Halloween dance video that was pulled soon after. While some of the language and actions in that video might have been a bit profane, most of what Robinson and Co. have produced this preseason has been innocuous (hop HERE for our story from last week).
Maybe Kevin Garnett summed it up best in Newport noting, "Chemistry's been very good, needless to say. It's a [expletive] zoo around here, but it's all good, we're getting some work done."
The Celtics seem refreshed after a grueling 2009-10 season and the chemistry being forged has everyone in that locker room excited for the potential this season. Just ask Pierce.
"I'm excited about the season, truthfully," Pierce said Monday. "There's an energy here. Something that each and every day, you get that feeling. I can't explain it. I told y'all on [Media Day] about it and it's in here. I feel like something special is going to happen."
As long as the end results don't regress once the Celtics get on the court, expect the fun and games to continue. After all, all work and no play makes the Celtics a dull team.