BOSTON (CBS) – It’s unclear where Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk will play when the C’s open the season, but the seven-footer is open to whatever his new team asks of him.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has said he sees Olynyk more as a power forward, but with just one true center on the roster the rookie figures to get a taste of both positions this season.
“Once you’re on the floor you do whatever you do. It’s kind of like you’re putting a label on someone,” Olynyk told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich at Monday’s Media Day. “Hopefully with Brad (Stevens) and the staff here, they can help that transition be a little easier.”
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Olynyk isn’t worried about his offensive game translating to the NBA, but knows he has his work cut out for him on defense, especially at center.
“The tough thing will be trying to guard centers down there. Those are some big guys playing in this league,” he said. “That is something that will take a learning curve. You have to use your intelligence and smarts to get you through that.”
Olynyk is looking forward to breaking in along with his new head coach. He said he was excited about the Stevens hiring because of what he did in his six years at Butler.
“At Butler I thought he was a basketball genius. What he did there, taking them to back-to-back national championship games, is unbelievable,” said Olynyk. “It’s tough for Duke or Kentucky, who are getting #1 recruits every year, to do that kind of stuff. For him to do that, it shows what kind of basketball mind he is and how intelligent he is. He sees things some people can’t even catch on film.”
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It didn’t take long for Olynyk to receive a nickname from his Celtics teammates, who tabbed him “Sunshine” following a strong summer league in Orlando. Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee borrowed the nickname from the long-haired quarterback from the film “Remember The Titans.”
Olynyk has not problems with it, and may even take it a step further.
“If it sticks I might have to get it legally changed,” he joked.
Also, find out which NBA star Olynyk’s father cut while coaching in Canada: