Marquis Daniels was finally introduced as the newest Celtic today at a press conference that began over 90 minutes late while they hammered out the remaining details on his contract. Daniels will wear #7 this season.
Apparently Daniels wasn't plan B or C but the player that Danny has had his eye on for quite some time. From Celtics.com:
Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge told reporters that Daniels is a guy he's been tracking since "his first summer league game," and noted that Head Coach Doc Rivers is also a long-time fan of Daniels' game. Along those lines, Daniels said the idea of him first joining the Celtics came up early this summer when he ran into Doc Rivers in Orlando, where both make their homes in the offseason.
The key word of the day was "versatility" as when Danny Ainge was asked what Daniels brought to the team, that was his one word answer.
"We're really excited about having him on our team. He brings a great deal of versatility to our team," Ainge said. "[He] brings experience and character to our team. He can handle the ball, score, defend multiple positions. I can see him playing with big lineups, being a backup point, and I could also see him playing small forward in small ball.
" It was obvious that NBA dress codes don't cover press conferences as Daniels showed up in a bright yellow shirt with a fox on the front. (see above) He is starting out saying all the right things and the fact that he chose winning over money is something we rarely see these days when players want to get all they can get regardless of winning. Here are a couple of quotes from Quisy from today's coverage.
"It was very long, pretty much all summer. My agent kept telling me, 'Don't worry about it'," Daniels said, when asked why this deal dragged on seemingly all summer long. "I had other situations where I could have made more money but I wanted to be a part of a winning franchise."
"I just want to come in and help. You want me to play the 1, 2, or 3, whatever it is. I'll just come in to help," Daniels said. As for the moves made by Cleveland and others, and they relate to the Celtics hopes of another NBA title, Daniels said, "A lot of [teams] made moves, but I like our chances right now."
And a very encouraging quote from Danny Ainge to close:
And while training camp officially starts at the end of September, much like the summer of 2007, guys are already congregating in Waltham and getting ready for that very title run Daniels is suggesting. Ainge reported that Wallace has been in "at 8 am the last couple of days" and mentioned Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, J.R. Giddens and Lester Hudson as being regulars in Waltham as of late.
"They're starting to creep in next week after Labor Day," Ainge said.
Rashard Lewis has been tweeting about the Magic players being together for a mini camp to get a jump on chemistry for weeks now. It is good to see that the Celtics are taking this season just as seriously and working out together already also.
You can also get a first hand report from the festivities from Jim Toscano over on CelticsBlog. Here is a really great quote from his recap of the presser:
Just down the stairs and around the corner from the press conference is the basketball court where the team practices. On the walls surrounding the court are eighteen banners, that's right- eighteen. Hanging right next to the one that reads "Boston Celtics 2008 World Champions" is one more banner. It's the same size and has that same Celtic Green trim as the rest of them. The difference? It's blank.
It's up to this Celtics team to fill in that banner. Here's to seeing the nineteenth banner in here next year.
Going into the 2007-08 season they had a spotlight on the empty space next to Banner 17 which motivated the players toward filling that space. This season they are using the same thought with a blank banner instead of the spotlight. Let's hope it has the same result as the spotlight did. Good stuff!!!