Danny had done a great job of re-building the Celtics this season. He has not only brought in good basketball players, but also good character guys. In the book Red Auerbach's Winning Ways, we read that "Red Auerbach chose his players for character as much as talent, and taught them to play for the team instead of individual glory. And the result of that approach was a dynasty with 16 championships in his time at the helm.
Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Jason Collins, and Jared Sullinger are all players who will form the reserves of this season's team and be counted on to contribute. Every one of these players has been described as a guy with great character and every one is a team player. Every one of these players wants to be a Celtic and will do whatever it takes to help the team win a championship. I don't see a single player who will have a problem playing for team and every one will be willing to accept a role in order to help the team win.
Brandon Bass has been spending his summer giving back to the community as has Avery Bradley. We read how Chris Wilcox delivered a truckload of food to a food bank on Grand Strand. We also read about how Jeff Green finished his classes and got his degree from Georgetown while recuperating from heart surgery. We know that the veteran players that Danny brought in this summer - Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Jason Collins - all have been praised for their character by their former teams. I wrote just a couple of days ago about Jared Sullinger's promise to his mom to stay tattoo free and to finish his degree.
It seems like every day, I read another article about how one of the Celtics is doing something special that exhibits their great character. Yesterday, it was an article by Jessica Camerato on CSNNE about how Jason Terry has taken Dionte Christmas under his wing.
“Once we got to Boston, Jason told me he was going to look after me,” Christmas said. “[He told me] we were going to get in the gym together a lot, he wanted to see me be the best player I could be for Boston and be the best person I could be, period.”
“This guy’s coming in at nighttime when nobody’s in the gym. [Tuesday] it was just like me, him, and the janitor in the gym just getting it in for a good hour, working hard. He does it when nobody’s looking. That’s the stuff that gives me motivation because I like to get work in during the day and rest at night, but I see what it takes to be successful in the league. He’s a champion, he has been very successful over his career, so watching him and talking to him, I know what it takes.”
I've been seeing a lot of good natured teasing back and forth between the Celtics who are already in Boston and working out together including Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Fab Melo, and Jeff Green. They are building chemistry and it seems that their personalities mesh very well.
Before the 2007 draft, Tommy Heinsohn had this to say on the subject of character:
An often missed element of picking players, everybody starts going like the football coaches used to go by. Times and by how fast they were in the forty and what have you. Been my experience that the players with the best character, the players that truly love to play, the so called gym rats, who may not quite have all the talent these other guys have, but that by the end of their careers they will work themselves in to be great contributors to a program. And I've seen many players like that help a basketball program. They are not the star, but end up being great contributors. And so, the character guys, the guys that are willing to work, the guys that love to play the game, the guys that would pay ownership to play. Those are the kinda guys that you want to pick and that should be an important part of the mix.
And it seems that Danny has brought in that very type of players for this season. Ubuntu is alive and well.