He's a man on a mission

BDodgers at aol.com BDodgers at aol.com
Wed Sep 26 18:35:58 UTC 2012

He's a man on a mission
Celtic Jason Terry is doing (& saying) everything right to endear  himself 

By _Chris Forsberg_ (http://search.espn.go.com/forsberg-chris/)  |  


BOLTON, Mass. -- Do you think _Jason Terry_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/841/jason-terry)  is  going to fit in around here?

The 13-year veteran hasn't even formally slipped on his new No. 4 _Boston 
Celtics_ (http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/bos/boston-celtics)   jersey, 
but he's already endeared himself to the fan base by (in no particular  
order): tattooing a leprechaun on his bicep next to the Larry O'Brien trophy;  
mentoring Boston's crop of young guards; hanging out with the Sausage King  
outside Fenway Park; diving headfirst into charity events in the community; and 
 promising to be exactly the bench scorer the team has so desperately 
lacked in  recent seasons. 
And just in case there was anyone in the region reluctant to hop on the JET 
 bandwagon, he casually suggested Tuesday that he's here with the singular 
goal  of erasing Boston's chief rivals. 
"My mission is to kill," Terry said before teeing off in the team's annual  
golf tournament at The International. "Whoever that is, whether it's the 
Heat,  whether it's the Lakers. Hopefully both. That's my mission and that's 
what I'm  here to do." 
Yep, Terry is doing everything in his power to get everyone to forget about 
 -- _as Rajon Rondo_ (http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3026/rajon-rondo)  
might  call him -- that guy. In fact, that guy's name did not come up one 
single time  as Terry, _Jason  Collins_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/987/jason-collins) , Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge met with reporters Tuesday 
No, a summer saturated with Boston players expressing an array of emotions  
over the departure of _Ray Allen_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/9/ray-allen)  (errr, that  guy) has given way to an autumn of unbridled optimism 
about the upcoming  season. 
And that's in large part because of the bodies the Celtics have brought in 
to  replace Allen, including Terry and _Courtney Lee_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3445/courtney-lee) .  When you couple that with a returning 
backcourt of Rondo and (when healthy) _Avery Bradley_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/4240/avery-bradley) ,  that's a potent four-guard rotation. 
"We're really excited about our guard play," Ainge said. 
Then Rivers made a stronger declaration: "I don't know if anyone has a 
better  guard core than us." 
Ainge, fresh off a summer that featured the signing of a whopping 13 
players,  took a bit of a victory lap for the overall roster his staff has 
constructed.  Not only did the team re-sign starters _Kevin Garnett_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/261/kevin-garnett)   and _Brandon  Bass_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2745/brandon-bass) , but it added two 
midlevel-caliber players (Terry, Lee); brought back  _Jeff Green_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3209/jeff-green)  on a  long-term deal; drafted a pair of 
first-round big men (_Jared  Sullinger_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/6624/jared-sullinger) , _Fab  Melo_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/6608/fab-melo) ); and added depth at almost every spot on the floor. 
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireTerry, one of  the players brought in to replace 
Ray Allen, has vowed to be exactly the bench  scorer the team needs. 

"I think we're deep at every position," Ainge said, admitting that injuries 
 depleted the team in recent seasons but adding that he really likes the 
team on  paper heading into the 2012-13 campaign. "We have a lot of depth. 
We're deep at  the point, the 2, 3, 4 and 5. I'm excited about our depth." 
So is Rivers, who for maybe the first time has the flexibility to mix and  
match pieces all over the court. He was speaking about the guards, but he 
could  have been talking about the entire roster when he noted, "I've always 
thought  that [versatility is] the way I would love to coach and I'm going to 
have the  opportunity to do that." 
The Celtics finalized their offseason roster construction last week with 
the  addition of center _Darko Milicic_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2171/darko-milicic) .  Coupled with the retirement of _Keyon Dooling_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/209/keyon-dooling) ,  the Celtics still have 16 
players under contract (three of which are on non- or  partially guaranteed 
deals), and Ainge said the trio of second-round pick _Kris Joseph_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/6599/kris-joseph)  and  first-year guards _Dionte 
 Christmas_ (http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/4025/dionte-christmas)  and 
_Jamar Smith_ (http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3118/jamar-smith)  would  
compete for the final roster spot and a chance to add depth at the guard  
With the roster set, the focus has been on building chemistry. Informal  
workouts have been going on for the better part of a month in Waltham. Then 
last  week Rondo organized a field trip that saw the team convene in Los 
Angeles for  workouts on the UCLA campus. Players who were working out in Boston 
(including  Rondo, Terry, Lee and _Chris Wilcox_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/1731/chris-wilcox) )  went west to join up with California 
residents Garnett, _Paul Pierce_ 
(http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/662/paul-pierce)  and  Collins for nearly full-squad work. 
"It was impressive watching the pickup games and the depth that we have,"  
Collins said. "We have a lot of good players, a lot of talent on this team." 
Rivers said he hasn't given much thought to individual roles, knowing that  
will sort itself out both in camp and over the course of an 82-game season. 
He  does envision Garnett sticking at the center position but didn't rule 
out  anything. 
"It's going to work itself out," Rivers said. "I'm pretty sure I think I  
know. But, again, you get in the gym and guys change your mind." 
That happened last season when Garnett shuffled to the 5 and Bass hopped 
into  the starting lineup, helping to ignite Boston's second-half surge (which 
ended  just a few minutes short of the NBA Finals). 
Asked whether renewed depth at the center spot could allow Garnett to play  
the 5, Rivers bottom-lined it. 
"I don't think Kevin cares as much as he says," Rivers said. "I think Kevin 
 just wants to win. If I told him he had to play point and we would win the 
title  by him doing that, he would give it a try. I just think that's who 
Kevin  is." 
With that in mind, Garnett should get along swimmingly with Terry, who 
didn't  hesitate to set lofty goals for his new squad after listing off his own  
championship pedigree. 
"I'm very excited. Obviously another opportunity to win a championship,"  
Terry said. "That's what it's all about. There's no other motive here but to 
go  out there and win, and win it all."  
Yup, he's going to fit in just fine around  here.

More information about the celtics mailing list