BOSTON (CBS) – Once again the Boston Celtics will head overseas for training camp, and more importantly, some preseason bonding.
Five summers ago, after Danny Ainge brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen — along with four other new faces — aboard, the team held training camp in Rome. It proved to be a pivotal bonding experience for a team that went on to win 66 regular seasons games and the franchise’s 17th NBA Championship.
Over the summer, Ainge added nine new faces to Boston through free agency and the draft. The Celtics are hoping this year’s trip across the pond will yield similar results from October through late June.
“When we went to Rome five years ago it was great,” Captain Paul Pierce said. “When you brought a new team together and go abroad and you’re in a place that is foreign, guys have a tendency to come together. Overseas you go to practice, we go to lunch together, go to dinner together. It gives you a better opportunity to get to know your teammates, and that sort of bonding really helps a team in the long run. I think that was instrumental at our run in the first year.”
“I’m thinking about Rome and a lot of parallels here to 07/08 with the depth of the team,” said Kevin Garnett. “I see a lot of parallels with 07/08 with this team here. I’m just wondering if we can bond and come together and give each other to each other for the betterment of one goal. It worked then, we’ll see if it works now.”
Terry, Garnett On Trip:
After the C’s hit the practice floor in Waltham on Monday, they’ll take the near nine-hour flight to Istanbul, Turkey, where they’ll play Fenerbahce Ulker Friday afternoon — their first “game” of the 2012-13 NBA season. They’ll follow that up with a game in Milan against Emporio Armani Milano on Sunday, and then return home to begin their US portion of the preseason.
While camp may have officially gotten underway over the weekend, various members of the team have spent nearly a month practicing together, including newcomer Jason Terry. Mix in their extended time together and now their trip overseas, and the 13-year veteran doesn’t think his new team will have any problems when it comes to chemistry, both on and off the court.
Doc On European Trip:
“I don’t think chemistry is going to be a big issue with us. With the solid core group of vets and youth and athleticism of the young guys, we’ll be able to bond pretty quickly,” said Terry. “The only way you can bond it to get out in the fire and get out in the action; have some failures but also have some success. We’ll have an opportunity to do that pretty quickly.”