The Celtics opened training camp with several interviews each day. Watch them all below, courtesy of CLNS Media.
Danny Ainge: Celtics may have rushed Kemba back
Danny Ainge spoke to the media for the first time since Gordon Hayward left the Boston Celtics for the Charlotte Hornets. Ainge said the Celtics talked to 3-4 teams about sign-and-trades and tried to keep Hayward on a long-term deal before talks fell apart and the Hornets secured him on a $120 million deal. Boston is left with a trade exception worth $28 million, Jeff Teague and Tristan Thompson, who will start training camp slow with a hamstring injury.
Jayson Tatum Celtics Media Day Interview
Jayson Tatum discussed his five year extension with the Boston Celtics and his role this year as the top star on the team. He said he’s not looking to come in and carry himself as the most important player, but rather use the gravity he’ll receive on the court to make plays for teammates and help them make the most of their roles. Tatum added he spent the offseason working on his three-point range, finishing through contact and preparing to read defenses as the main ball-handler for Boston.
Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward leaving
Brad Stevens reiterated he respects Gordon Hayward’s decision to sign with the Charlotte Hornets and defended himself against recent free agent departures like Kyrie Irving and Al Horford’s. He said the Celtics’ success in recent years speaks for the program they are running and that every player has unique reasons for where they want to play. Stevens also discussed the new opportunity available to players like Jeff Teague, Payton Pritchard and Tremont Waters with Kemba Walker’s injury knocking him out for roughly the first month of the NBA season.
Daniel Theis Celtics Media Day Interview
Daniel Theis said surgery is behind him as he and Tristan Thompson prepare to fill the Celtics center position that suddenly looks like a strength for Boston. He said he and the Celtics spent their short offseason focused on shooting while he rehabbed from a knee surgery that removed a loose body, far less serious than his knee tear during the 2018 season.
Kemba Walker on Knee Injury – Out Until January
The Celtics point guard spoke today optimistic that time off will return him to his all star status, one day after the Celtics announced he would miss games into January in favor of a knee strengthening program. He hadn’t rested since joining the Celtics in July, 2019, between the FIBA World Cup, the regular season, the quarantine period in Charlotte and the NBA Bubble run that followed. Now, he’s not rushing back to the court.
Semi Ojeleye on returning to Celtics
Semi Ojeleye said he had to wait for the Celtics to sort out the Gordon Hayward situation before the Celtics brought him back for his fourth year in Boston. He discussed stepping into a larger role with the team and improving at Celtics Media Day this week.
Marcus Smart Training Camp Interview
Marcus Smart discussed the NBA Covid-19 precautions and how confident he is in the league’s plan to start the 2021 NBA season outside of the bubble. The Celtics started camp this week with limited personnel on the court and he said although going back and forth between home and the team will present new challenges, he is still impressed with how the league is managing the spread of the coronavirus.
Tristan Thompson Signs with the Celtics
The Celtics introduced Tristan Thompson today, who said he joined Boston due to their young talent in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. “Hopefully I can come in and be the difference maker in trying to make this team get to where they want to get to.”
Jaylen Brown Celtics Training Camp Interview
Jaylen Brown spoke about his social justice efforts continuing over the past month in his Celtics media day press conference. He said he’s working with students at Wheeler High School in Atlanta to change the name of the school, in honor of a Confederate general. He’s also working to register voters for the Georgia Senate elections in January while allying with NASA to promote STEM education in neighborhoods where it has been neglected. Brown also discussed he and Jayson Tatum both receiving extensions as the future of the Celtics.
Jeff Teague Celtics Media Day Interview
Jeff Teague said he wanted to join a winning team and believed he could push the Celtics over the top at his introduction at Celtics training camp today. Teague in his media day interview said he remembers Jaylen Brown from his high school days, knew Evan Turner since 13 and believes Boston can be a NBA Finals contender after he lost every year in recent seasons with the Timberwolves.
Grant Williams Celtics Training Camp Interview
Grant Williams returns for year two after nearly a year and a half rookie year. He said he still feels like one until the Celtics take the floor for their first game. Grant shot 58% during the playoffs and played both the four and as a favored backup five in Brad Stevens’ rotation. Boston signed Tristan Thompson, who will join Daniel Theis in the main rotation, but Grant said he’s taking advice from him and still preparing to play both positions.
Payton Pritchard calls Danny Ainge Oregon GOAT
Payton Pritchard said he learned the Celtics playbook ahead of arriving at Celtics training camp last week. In his media day appearance, he limited the pressure on himself with Kemba Walker out injured and said he’s adjusting to the longer three point line. The pace of the NBA game, he believes will suit his game after playing a pro style offense at Oregon. He also called Danny Ainge the greatest ever from his state.