Joined: 12 Sep 2017
|Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:29 am Post subject: Bird knows Stevens could have just as easily gone
|PHILADELPHIA -- Jabari Bird was back in California on Tuesday night, biding time before the start of Grams Little league training camp with the Maine Red Claws. Signed one of the league’s new two-way contracts after the Celtics Celtics selected him with the 56th pick in the 2017 draft, Bird couldn’t accompany the parent team to its season opener in Cleveland and was watching the game from afar when Gordon Hayward suffered his grisly ankle injury.
It didn’t take long before Bird’s phone started buzzing. Celtics brass wanted him in Celtics on Wed morning to provide emergency depth with the team thin on bodies.
"I was already packed. I was ready to go to the Grams Little league, ” Bird said. "We got training camp coming up and my bags were already packed, I was ready to get out of the house. Then i got the email to go to Celtics and I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready too. Just get me a flight. ’"
Bird took a red-eye and landed in Celtics at 7: 30 Wed morning. He suited up but did not play during the Celtics’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He figured that’s how it would go again Friday night in Philadelphia but, with coach Brad Stevens searching for some sort of spark, Bird was unexpectedly asked midway through the third one fourth.
The adidas basketball jerseys Celtics were down eight when Brown hit a floor, and all he remembers is Stevens telling him to go chase 76ers sharpshooter JJ Redick. Bird played the next 12 minutes, 34 seconds of game action, helping Celtics rally ahead and mess up Philadelphia’s home opener with a 102-92 succeed at Water wells Fargo Center.
Bird finished with three points over 13: 38. He missed his only shot from the field and lamented, "I was surprised I missed. I pride myself on shooting the ball, so i was a little crazy. ” He got fouled on a 3-point attempt a short time later and have scored his first NBA points with a pair of free throws.
Asked what Celtics coaches did to make sure he was ready for this moment, Bird was refreshingly honest.
"Nothing. I wasn’t prepared at all for for dinner, ” he said to laughter after Friday’s game. "Mentally, I had to just lock into the game. Coach [Stevens] just looked at me and said, ‘Bird get Jaylen [Brown]. ’ Fine. OK. That’s what I did. ”
Bird said he was so surprised to get into the game that he doesn’t even remember what admin coach Micah Shrewsberry told him as he endured at the scorer’s table waiting to check in. What he does remember is taking on the challenge of shadowing Redick.
"So all the way through preseason and training camp, I felt like [Bird] was one of our better perimeter defenders, ” Stevens said. "I think he's got a huge upside. His rebounding mention for itself in the preseason practices and his capacity to guard on your ball, especially fps stephen curry jersey cutting off screens. Just really good. He's not afraid and you knew he would step up. ”
Bird knows Stevens could have just as easily gone wholesale basketball jerseys with one of the other four rookies available for Celtics on Friday. But in a ugly, whistle-filled game, Stevens was throwing darts a bit and hit a bull's-eye by leaning on both Bird and offseason signee Shane Larkin, who have scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth one fourth.