BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics introduced their two draft picks on Monday, and both are eager to get to work in the NBA.
Which is a good thing, because practice for the upcoming summer league begins bright and early Tuesday morning.
With their families on hand, sixth overall pick Marcus Smart and 17th overall selection James Young donned their Celtics jerseys for the first time Monday morning at the team’s practice facilities in Waltham. Smart, who wore No. 33 at Oklahoma State, found a new number to wear: No. 36. Young, who wore No. 1 in his only season at Kentucky, will now wear No. 13.
“It’s amazing,” Smart told WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid following his introduction. “I’m blessed and I thank God every day for this opportunity. I thank my mom for the sacrifices she made to allow me to reach my dream.”
Both draftees spoke as if they were savvy NBA veterans. But while they may sound mature for their ages, Smart is 20 while Young is just 18, they know they’ll have to put in a lot of hard work to succeed in the NBA — especially with a tradition-rich team like Boston.
“It’s compelling. It’s contagious, especially if you buy in,” Smart said of the Celtics’ tradition. “You want to be a part of this tradition – the winning tradition. They accept you as long as you compete and give it your all.”
Levan Reid’s 1-on-1 w/ Marcus Smart:
“I want to come out here and put a banner up there, that’s my motivation,” said Young. “When I come in here and I look at that banner up there, it’s something for me to want to put history up there.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has nothing but praise for the maturity his two new players showed on Monday.
“They get it,” said Stevens. “I think it’s also a tribute to the organization, a tribute to Danny [Ainge] and the players that have played before here, and the way it’s run and our ownership. Even though you’re coming off an individual high of being drafted, there’s a responsibility that comes with being part of the Boston Celtics.”
“It’s pretty clear that both of these guys play to win,” Stevens added.
Levan Reid’s 1-on-1 w/ James Young:
After their introduction, both Smart and Young helped unveil a new computer lab at the Harvard-Kent School in Charlestown.
MORE CELTICS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON
- Celtics @ 7: All-Star Snub Latest Motivating Factor For Isaiah Thomas
- Trail Blazers Earn 127-123 Overtime Win Over Celtics
- Thomas On Not Being An All-Star Starter: ‘Not The End Of The World’
- Isaiah Thomas Receives NBA Cares Community Assist Award