There is a movie titled Celtics Pride, there is a Celtics Pride blog, there is a radio show with Hickman and Gilroy named Celtics Pride. I used to subscribe to a very nice publication put out by the Celtics called Celtics Pride (seen above). But what is Celtics pride? Is it the pride that the fans feel toward this storied franchise? Is it the pride that the players feel about being Celtics? I think it is a little of both but according to this statement, it is even more than that.
He also had the inner drive that characterized "Celtics pride." After his first year Havlicek went home and worked hard to improve both his outside shooting and his dribbling. The next season he led the team in scoring.
The inner drive that characterized Celtics pride. This phrase really caught my attention. The context of this statement seems to indicate that Celtics pride is something inside the players to make them want to be better. Something inside that makes them work harder because they are Celtics and that means something. Celtics Pride is what drove Havlicek to work to improve his dribbling and his shooting after his first year. It is what drove all of the Celtics' legendary players to be the best they could. It is what kept Bird in the gym hours after practice working on his game. I look at the players that we have now and can't help but think that Celtics pride is back with this current team. We have a core of very hard working young players and every one of them have that inner drive.
Perk Even though he saw only 19 minutes of playing time his entire first season, Perk never stopped working. He put in hour after hour in the weight room. He changed his eating patterns and remade himself into a solid, strong NBA player. Even though he got very little playing time his second season, he still didn't stop working. When he finally did get playing time in his third season he made the best of it. He cut down on his fouls and improved his defense. Unfortunately, he injured his shoulder just as he was starting to come on. He had shoulder surgery and worked just as hard at rehab and was ready to go for training camp. This past season, he battled plantar fasciitis for most of the season. If ever there was any doubt about this kid's toughness, it was erased this past season as he played game after game in pain because his team needed him. He plans on staying in Boston and working with Al and Clifford Ray over the summer and I have no doubt that he will break out this next season and surprise a lot of his doubters. Perk has that inner drive that characterizes Celtics Pride.
Delonte Delonte spent much of his first season injured. He never stopped working though. Doc asked him to play the point, which wasn't Delonte's natural position. In spite of playing out of position, he put all he had into learning the new position and played it very admirably. He has a collection of videos of every point guard in the league. He spends much of his off time studying those tapes, learning about his opponents so that he can defend them better. This past season he was shuffled back and forth between the point and the 2 guard and in spite of battling a back injury for parts of the season, was always ready to go. Because of his drive to play, sometimes the trainers have to hide his uniforms to keep him from coming back from injuries before he should. He is going to work on his right hand this off season so that this year he won't be quite as predictable. Delonte West has that inner drive that characterizes Celtics pride!
Ryan Gomes Gomes was the 50th pick in the draft. There was no guarantee that he would even make the team. The entire first half of the season, Gomes sat on the bench getting very little playing time. But he never stopped working. When he got the chance to play due to injuries on the team, he made the best of it. He spends large amounts of time working on his game. You could see the improvement in his shot and in his defense from his first season to his second. He increased his range, making him more versatile at the 3. He played in last season's Summer League, which he didn't need to play in, but he did because he wants to get better. He said you can always learn things no matter who you are playing against or with. Ryan Gomes has that inner drive that characterizes Celtics Pride.
Rajon Rondo Rajon Rondo came to the Celtics with rave reviews about his ability to run a team and even more rave reviews about his defense, but the knock was that he couldn't shoot. Reports in the Globe last season said that he was working on his shooting over 2 hours a day after practices. He worked on drills and individual work. By the end of the season, we could see marked improvement in his shooting. This summer he will work even more on his shot. In a Hoopsworld article, he was asked who was his biggest motivator, he said that he was his own motivator. This is a point guard who can out rebound some bigs and who thinks nothing of driving to the basket against Shaq. This summer he will be working at Impactball with noted trainer Joe Abunassar, and I am sure we will see him come back with a jumper and more next season. A report from WLKY today tells us that he is at home and working on his shot and his game along with giving back to the community. Rajon Rondo has the inner drive that characterizes Celtics Pride.
Paul Pierce Paul Pierce has given 9 years to the Celtics, improving each year. He has changed his game over the past few years of Doc ball for the good of the team. Pierce played through bursitis in his elbow, in spite of having to drain it several times and having severe pain throughout the second half of the '05-'06 season. Last season he had his first major injury that caused him to miss time. He wasn't able to stay in shape while out with the injury and even though he was out of shape and knew it would probably lower his stats, he came back to help the team. He played when most stars would have sat out until they were 100%. But Pierce cared about what his teammates were going through and wanted to help. Pierce played in training camp just 3 weeks after being stabbed 11 times, one of which punctured his lung and came within an inch of his heart. In 2004 he lost several teeth in a game and the next night, after spending 7 hours in a dentist chair having them repaired, he played and even hit the game winner. Even after 8 years, Pierce came into training camp last season in the best shape of his career. Pierce has that inner drive that characterizes Celtics Pride.
Wally Szczerbiak Wally Szczerbiak was traded to the Celtics and spent the night on a plane. The next day he spent going through physicals and ran into Doc's office just before the game saying he was available to play. Doc didn't plan on playing him, figuring that after all he had been through he wouldn't be up to playing. But every time he looked down the bench, there was Wally staring at him waiting to get into the game. On the day that the Celtics played the Wolves in Minnesota, Wally was at the hospital all day while his daughter was born and once again, he rushed to the game wanting to play. He played almost 40 mpg that first half season in Boston, in spite of playing in pain most of that time. Last season he was plagued with ankle injury after ankle injury. He wanted to come back to help the team so much that he often rushed back too early and that contributed to subsequent injuries. Wally spends hours upon hours in the gym in the off season working on his game. Even now that he is an established player he never stops working. Wally Szczerbiak has that inner drive that characterizes Celtics pride.
Al Jefferson Al Jefferson did not get off to a great start in Boston. He wasn't in the best shape his first or second year, and suffered several ankle injuries. The criticism of his conditioning and his game really got to him. In the off season he worked very hard to get himself into shape. He changed his diet and worked out to get into the best shape he could. Unfortunately, his ankle problems were mis-diagnosed, but in spite of the recurring pain, he continued to work and to try to play. When they finally found the bone chips in his ankle and fixed them, he came back with a vengeance. He was a fixture in Boston in the off season, working out with Clifford Ray every chance he got. This season, he came to camp ready to play and was sidelined early with appendicitis and was rushed to surgery. He was expected to be out for up to 6 weeks but after just 2 weeks he was back in the lineup and ready to play. Those who questioned his toughness had to admit they were wrong. This past season we saw the fruits of Al's hard work come to fruition as he averaged a double double and emerged in the NBA as a budding star. Big Al has the inner drive that characterizes Celtics pride.
Leon Powe Powe had every reason to just give up in life. This kid is one of my favorites just because of all he has been through and he has come through it a fantastic person. His father bolted the family when Leon was two. And when he was seven, his home was burned to the ground after his younger brother, Tim, was left alone to play with an errant matchbook. Because they had no place to live, the family which included 5 children stayed in homeless shelters, shoddy motels, and wherever they could find a place, often all having to sleep in the same bed. Powe's mother developed a drug habit and child services put Leon and his brother in foster care.
Over time, that burden proved too much for Powe’s mother, Connie Landry. With no steady income to support her family, and a burgeoning drug habit, Child Protective Services took control of Leon and Tim, placing both into foster care. It was at this time Leon discovered basketball and excelled. But then heartache struck again. During his junior year in highschool, his mother died of a heart attack at the age of 41 just days before his team was to play for the state title. He had remained close to his mother and the loss weighed heavily on him. Just weeks later, he tore the ACL in his left knee in an AAU tournament. He came back to play his senior year on his reconstructed knee and was a Parade All American, a McDonalds All American and a top 10 prospect for college recruiters. After his freshman season at Cal, he was named Pac10 Freshman of the Year and earned all conference honors. But, he still had severe pain in his reconstructed knee and he had surgery for a bone graft to relieve that pain. His knee didn't respond and they operated again and reconstructed the knee for a second time, his third major surgery on the same knee in the span of 2 years. A lesser person would have given up. But Powe persevered and went through rehab once again and he returned to Cal and became a dominant force, averaging 20.5 point per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, becoming only the 6th player ever to lead the conference in both categories and was named a second team All American. He donates a lot of his time helping kids and does free basketball camps every offseason. He uses his money to help care for his siblings. He works very hard on and off the court to make himself a better basketball player and a better person. If anyone has the inner drive that characterizes Celtic Pride, it is this kid.
Gerald Green Gerald Green expected to be a top 5 pick but was still there when Boston picked at 18. Gerald didn't get much playing time his first season with the Celtics and when asked about going to the D League, he willingly went since it meant a chance to play and a chance to get better. When he returned to the parent team, it was obvious that he had improved there. Gerald worked with John Lucas the off season and pushed himself to improve in all areas. This past season, he got more playing time and although he struggled at times, he kept working hard. One of the few bright spots in the season was the Slam Dunk contest where Gerald wowed everyone and came away the winner. Gerald is determined to make teams sorry they passed on him and will work hard to do so. He plans to return to Texas and work with John Lucas again this summer. Gerald Green has the inner drive that characterizes Celtic Pride.
Brian Scalabrine Brian Scalabrine hasn't had the easiest time in Boston. He has gone from sub to starter to sub. He has been booed at home and then cheered and then booed again. But one thing you have to say about Scal is that he plays hard and he tries all the time to encourage his teammates. When Tony went down with the torn ACL, in spite of a knee injury of his own, drove Tony and his mom to the hospital. The story was told that Tony's mom was a bit nervous and asked if maybe they should call an ambulance and Tony told her no because this was better. This was Scal. He gives of his time to help kids and he is considered one of the nicest guys in the league. In spite of all his shortcomings, Scal has the inner drive that characterizes Celtics Pride.
It is evident from the above that we have some very tough and hard working players. If you are a Celtics' fan, you just have to be excited about what the future holds. Each of these kids will come back better and ready to wipe out the memory of last year's lost season. Yes, Celtics Pride is back.
I love the way you blend the visions and ideals of old with the new! Furthermore, the descriptions of each of these players persevering through the pain and personal issues to achieve the great fortune of making it to the NBA/C's is frankly incredible writing! Thank you for this research! I learned some things I didn't know about some of our guys, like Powe for example.