BOSTON (CBS) — When Jerryd Bayless joined the Boston Celtics via trade in January, he was getting a new NBA jersey for the fifth time in his six-year career.
That’s a lot of change of address forms to fill out, but Bayless remains upbeat about his career, and all the opportunities that have come with it.
“It’s not easy. I wish I could lie and say it’s easy, but I don’t have any complaints,” he told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich on Tuesday morning. “What is good about being able to move around, I’m trying finding a positive in a negative, is you get to learn about different cities and different cultures in cities. I went from Toronto to Memphis, and to see how these cities move and how they go about, it’s been an amazing experience.”
“Not too many people can say they’ve done that,” said Bayless. “I have no complaints about it. I’m happy to get the opportunity to play in the NBA.”
Bayless, who has a permanent home in Phoenix, has played well in his 32 games for the Celtics, averaging 9.6 points per game on 41-percent shooting. The 25-year-old will be a free agent after the season and says it’s too early to discuss his future with Celtics’ president Danny Ainge, but hopes that Boston could be his new home away from home.
“One of the first things I said when I got here was I was looking for stability and a home, where I can grow with a team and be here a long time,” said Bayless. “I’ve been around the league long enough to know that things happen and sometimes it doesn’t work out. I would love to be here a long time; the city, the fans, the organization have been great… I’d love to be here and hopefully it works out.”
A big part of Bayless’s desire to stay in Boston is Brad Stevens, and the bond he’s formed with the first-year head coach in just a few short months.
“The biggest thing with Brad and I that has made our relationship so strong is I told him things that happened in the past with other coaches and what I wanted to avoid. The biggest thing I told him is I’d always like a direct line of communication, and we’ve done a great job at that,” he said. “I talk to Brad every day, even on off days. It always stays open, and we’re always talking about the different ways I can help this team do better.”
“I couldn’t say anything negative about the guy, even if I wanted to,” he joked. “As good as a basketball coach he is, he’s an even better person. Every player at some time or another will get mad at a coach, but it’ tough to get mad at this guy. You know he’s a really good person.”
Bayless said the same goes for point guard Rajon Rondo, who he said is perceived around the league as “arrogant.”
“Before I got here I didn’t know Rondo at all. I had just played against him and I heard everything else,” he said. “Since I’ve been here he’s the closest guy I’ve gotten to on the team. He’s a great leader, great person and a great basketball player. The things he does for the team, they can’t be measured.”
“He’s perceived as arrogant, like most of the better players are in the league — that’s the way it is when you get to that stature in the league, that’s how people perceive you,” Bayless explained. “I don’t think that’s a negative thing, I think that’s gotten him to where he’s at. Having a certain attitude knowing that no one is better than him, and he proves it.”
Bayless also gives his take on Charles Barkely’s assessment that the NBA recent level of play is “embarrassing”: