BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics put on a full court press last weekend in hopes of landing Kevin Durant, the prize of this summer’s NBA free agency.
Danny Ainge and the C’s management brought a cavalry of stars to try and persuade Durant to sign with Boston, with All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas joined by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for their meeting in the Hamptons.READ MORE: 4-Year-Old Hurt In Hit-And-Run In Lynn
And then there was Kelly Olynyk, along for the ride. The Celtics forward seemed a bit out of place and his inclusion left many wondering why Ainge and company brought him. But even with people questioning his involvement, and the Celtics missing out on Durant in the end, Olynyk was happy to be part of Boston’s sales pitch.
“Well, obviously it didn’t go so well,” Olynyk joked with a group of kids at the 9th annual Shooting Touch Camp at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury on Tuesday.
He said it was a fun time, and it also meant he got a chance to chat with Brady.
“Tom is an unbelievable person; very intelligent and a great guy,” Olynyk said.
The Celtics didn’t come up empty handed in free agency, either. A day before learning they lost out on the Durant sweepstakes, Boston inked power forward Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million deal. Olynyk is very familiar with what Horford brings to the floor, having some head-to-head matchups against him during his time in Atlanta, and he even saw Horford in a different light before breaking into the NBA. Horford was actually one of Olynyk’s coaches at a Basketball Without Borders camp in Mexico in 2007.READ MORE: Over 300,000 Baby Pacifiers Recalled Due To Choking Hazard
“Al is an unbelievable player and unbelievable person. He’s first-class in every category. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play with him,” said Olynyk. “He can pass the ball, he can shoot the ball, he can put it on the floor — he’s an unbelievable teammate. He flies around defensively, is long and can block shots. He is really an all-around player that can do nothing but help this team go in the right direction.”
That 2007 camp and others like it have always stuck with Olynyk, prompting him to do the same for young basketball players when he started his career in the NBA. Olynyk is on the board of Shooting Touch, a Boston non-profit, along with legendary high school basketball coach Bobby Hurley, who hosted Tuesday’s session in West Roxbury.
While he has a ton of fun with the kids on the floor, Olynyk enjoys delivering his message to them even more.
“It’s all about falling in love with the game of basketball, playing as much as you can. You don’t need organized events to play basketball; you can do it on your own,” he said. “Walking to school every day, you can dribble a basketball. If you’re shooting a ball outside, you don’t need a hoop.
“It’s all about if you love the game, just do it as much as you can and work as hard as you can to be the best you can,” he added.MORE NEWS: Massachusetts Nurses Union Wants Baker's Help To Address 'Overwhelmed And Burned Out' Workers