Monday, September 30, 2013
Media Day leftovers: Faverani ready to fight
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The health of rehabbing Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back), and the arrival of Gerald Wallace were among the biggest headlines from Media Day with the Boston Celtics on Monday at the team's training facility. But here are a few leftover notes from the three-hour session that kicked off the 2013-14 season:
* FAVERANI READY TO FIGHT: We still haven't seen him on the floor, but Monday featured the media's first access with Brazilian import Vitor Faverani. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound center intercepted team director of player personnel Austin Ainge (who happens to be fluent in Spanish) and brought him to the podium to help navigate his first Q&A session. The slightly broken English only made the International Man of Mystery's responses that more entertaining. Like when he was asked to describe his style of play. "My playing style, I don’t know, I like to fight, play in the paint, rebounds, dunks, pick and rolls," said fighting Faverani. To solidify his physical nature, Ainge added his own analysis: "He loves to hit. He’s physical. He comes in and makes things happen and instigates contact." As for choosing No. 38, even after his preferred No. 13 became available when fellow Brazilian Fab Melo was traded away to Memphis, Faverani noted, "My friends, they played handball, and one day at my house, we’re eating lunch and my number every time is 13. He said, if you play with 38, I’ll get a tattoo for you. So I get the number 38." His friend now has a tattoo.
* BRADLEY FOCUSED ON BASKETBALL: September was an emotional roller coaster for Avery Bradley with the passing of his mother, Alicia, and the birth of his son, Avery Bradley III. Bradley largely steered clear of questions about his emotional state, but he did relent when asked about fatherhood. "It’s been amazing," he said. "I’ve been having my family and my girlfriend support me for this upcoming season. They all want to see me do well and they all want to see me continue to keep learning this game and keep becoming a better player." Asked later if basketball can be therapy after his mother's death, Bradley offered, "It’s always been therapy," as he departed the podium.
* NO STARTING 5 IN MIND YET: Both Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and new coach Brad Stevens said they can't possibly know the starting five entering camp. "And I think about it all the time. Maybe it’s paralysis by analysis," Stevens quipped. "I don’t think it’s fair because we haven’t all been on the court together yet. And I think we’re in position where we’ve got a lot of guys that may be a better player in a 1-on-1 game, but may not fit the strengths of the other guys that are going to be on the court. So there may be some mixing and meshing there where you maybe -- sometimes you don’t have your best guy playing with the other four guys as far as the next best player. You’ve got the right fit for those other four guys. I think we have to find that. Again, that’s part of building a team. The good news about that is we’re getting started, the bad news is that it’s a quick turnaround before you play [the first exhibition game] next Monday."
* NO SOX COMPARISONS, PLEASE: Danny Ainge, who knows a thing or two about baseball, was asked if he saw any comparison with his team and the Boston Red Sox, who exceeded the expectations of most this season while making the playoffs in what many thought would be a transition year. "Baseball is such a different sport. I think baseball and football, you have so many more players, and in baseball, one player doesn’t dominate the game as much," Ainge said. "In basketball, I don’t think there’s really any correlation we can draw from that situation. They’ve had a terrific year and I’m really excited about the postseason, watching the Red Sox play. I actually thought the Red Sox would have a better year this year just because they have a really good pitching staff and expectations were lower a little bit. I think they have some terrific players on that team, but I’m not surprised by their success this year."
* KG STILL MOTIVATING GREEN: While Jeff Green gave an unemotional "No" when asked if it was difficult to learn that the Celtics had traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, he did shower Garnett with praise for his role in Green's late-season outburst last year. "He’s a guy who pushed me to become the player I ended the season as," Green said. "I owe a lot to him as far as my focus and my determination and my aggression." Garnett often reminded Green to remain aggressive by telling him to behave like a word not printable in this space. Green keeps that in mind entering the new season, noting, "I’m going to continue to take the words of Kevin Garnett and be an [expletive], be aggressive and continue to improve my game, this year, next year and next year after that. I’ve just got to keep working."