Boston Celtics: Istanbul
April, 10, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesCeltics captain Paul Pierce jokes around during the team's Rome trip before the 2007-08 season.MIAMI -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the logistics still have to be ironed out, but the team expects to trek overseas for exhibition play before the start of the 2012-13 season.
Back in February, Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the Celtics would trek to Milan, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey, continuing the NBA's recent theme of international preseason games. The Boston Herald reported that the Celtics have considered the idea of holding their entire training camp overseas, but Rivers said Tuesday that much is still to be determined, though he does like the idea of an overseas camp.
"I love when we go [away for camp]," said Rivers. "I’ve always liked it, if it’s done right. And we will find that out later -- we don't know if we’re going to go over there and be our training camp, or if we’re going to do the quick trip. I’m not a big fan of the quick trip. I think when you go over there, go over there, and have camp there. I think it’s a great team-bonding trip. I’m hoping that’s what we do, but that hasn’t been clarified yet."
According to the reports, the Celtics are pegged for a pair of exhibition games in early October. With the Boston roster set for a potential major overhaul, Rivers is open to the idea of a long trip to bring the team closer together, much like what happened after the Celtics spent the preseason in Rome after the Big Three were assembled before the 2007-08 championship campaign.
Celtics rookie center Greg Stiemsma spent two stints in Turkey while working his way to the NBA. Asked about potentially heading back overseas next season, he quipped before Tuesday's shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena, "I was hoping not to go back." Stiemsma did admit he could serve as tour guide and help the team navigate parts of Turkey.