BOSTON (CBS) — After making their 3,000 mile trek across the pond, the Boston Celtics have hit the hardwood in London.
The Celtics held their first practice overseas early Tuesday morning — or for them, in their new afternoon. The practice was open to the public, giving the NBA’s international fans a chance to check out one of the league’s hottest teams as they get ready to take on the Philadelphia 76ers at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday.
Those fans in attendance got a nice show from Terry Rozier, who should quickly become an international sensation on Thursday.
Aside from the Celtics’ time on the floor, here are a few takeaways from Boston’s media availability in London.
Kyrie The Ambassador
Always humble, Kyrie Irving told reporters he’s “an ambassador to life in general” when asked if he was a good spokesman for the NBA. He also remained humble when asked he played any sports other than basketball as a kid, soccer in particular.
“I didn’t play any sport other than basketball. Some would say I was a child prodigy,” Irving told reporters.
No one asked Irving if he got a good look at the earth on his flight to London.
Horford Is Good To Go — And A Fan Of Great Coaching
Al Horford won a pair of titles at Florida, but he was up late on Monday night cheering on Nick Saban and Alabama in the college football National Championship Game.
“I’m a Nick Saban fan. I’ve always been. I’m a Gator, obviously. But I have a thing for coaches, and like Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, some of the guys I really, really admire and look up to,” he told reporters.
That may upset his Gator brethren, but his Boston fans will be pleased to see he tossed in Belichick’s name. It sounds like someone already has a career path in place when his playing days are over.
As for Thursday’s game, Horford said he is ready to return to the floor after missing Saturday’s win over the Nets with a left knee injury he suffered the night before.
Stevens Brought His Dad Jokes
The Office revival could (no, should) star Brad Stevens and his dry sense of humor. The C’s head coach was getting plenty of yuks again on Tuesday when asked how far he sees his team going this season.
Don’t ever change, Brad. Don’t. Ever. Change.
Adjusting To The Time Change
Some Boston players said they didn’t sleep much after their 10-hour journey from Boston to London, arriving at their hotel around midnight local time. For some it had to do with the time change. For others, it was about staying up late to watch Alabama and Georgia battle for college football supremacy.
But they don’t seem too concerned about being a groggy bunch come Thursday’s tip off, because as professional athletes their sleep schedule is already pretty different from everyone else.
“Our sleep patterns are all over the place,” guard Marcus Smart told reporters (via Celtics.com), “going coast-to-coast, different time zones, late games, early games, back-to-back games, and things like that.”
Celtics Should Practice Their British Accents
Better yet, just focus on basketball…