Friday, October 1, 2010
First impressions: Training camp, Day 4
By Chris Forsberg
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Five quick observations after the Boston Celtics wrapped up their fourth day of training camp Friday at the Rodgers Recreation Center on the campus of Salve Regina University:
Hump day practice: Celtics coach Doc Rivers thought his team hit a bit of a wall Friday with its fourth practice session of camp, but unlike past years, he refused to ease up on them. "I didn't think we had a great practice, but I didn't think we had a bad one. Everyone tried to fight through the wall. This is that tough day, the third or fourth day, the [lack of] energy and guys are sore. Every year I make it an hour and a half practice, but knowing that, I went longer today because, mentally, we needed to fight through that, the thought that just because we're tired we can't practice today."
Doc & the debate: Informed of a decision to move a Massachusetts gubernatorial debate up one day as not to conflict with the Celtics vs. Heat season opener at the TD Garden on Oct. 26, Rivers smiled and said, "That's power." Asked if that kind of pull might convince him to run for governor, Rivers declined. "I wouldn’t win. We had an owner who tried that already and I don’t want to spend the money that [Steve Pagliuca] spent, I can tell you that." Co-owner Pagliuca unsuccessfully ran for Senate last year. (For more, check out the video embedded above)
Rondo chatter: A lot of talk Friday centered on point guard Rajon Rondo and whether his failed Team USA stint might provide a chip on his shoulder this season. "I don't know if it affected him, but when he plays those guys [from Team USA this season], I got a feeling he's going to give them his best," said Rivers. "But it wasn't anything personal. He called [Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski] and congratulated them when they won [gold at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey]. I know coach really appreciated that. He also called [Team USA director] Jerry Colangelo, and did the same thing. I think it all ended on good terms."
Ready for some football: Celtics players found a football inside the gymnasium after practice and that turned the court into the gridiron for a bit. It started with Rajon Rondo and Nate Robinson playing catch. Soon Kendrick Perkins and strength and conditioning coach Brian Doo were recruited as receivers (Don't get too excited, Perkins wasn't running patterns). Soon everyone from Shaquille O'Neal to Danny Ainge had joined in and, as the field stretched out, passes quickly became more errant. Robinson showcased his football skills with a leaping save on a high Rondo toss (see 12 seconds in below).