BOSTON (CBS) — Tommy Heinsohn, a bit of a homer, makes a lot of interesting statements when doing color commentary for the Boston Celtics.
During Wednesday night’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, he called Isaiah Thomas (who had a monster fourth quarter to help the C’s claim the victory) one of the Top 5 greatest competitors in the Celtics’ long history.READ MORE: Wind Figures To Be Major Factor For Patriots-Bills Monday Night Matchup
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked about Tommy’s statement Thursday morning on Toucher & Rich, and while he wouldn’t say if he’d put IT in the Top 5, he did said that Thomas and teammate Avery Bradley are certainly among the best competitors the franchise has seen.
“Tommy gets very excited in the middle of a game. I would have to say, I think Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley are every bit the competitors that I was around in my time with the Celtics. They’re fantastic competitors and compete night in and night out,” said Ainge. “They’re one of the top guard tandems [in the NBA]. I don’t even know who is better. Every night, those guys give their all against every back court in the NBA.”
Bradley has been on an incredible run to start the season, averaging 18.5 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds per game. He pulled down 13 rebounds to go with his 18 points on Wednesday night, good for his sixth double-double in the first 11 games of the season.
Ainge said Bradley’s focus on rebounding is a great example of the guard’s competitive nature.
“It just tells you how great of a player Avery is. Avery understands what our team needs and goes out there — Isaiah, as great a scorer as he is and he’s been unbelievable; we’d be dead in the water without Avery and Isiah. Avery takes a lot of responsibility off Isaiah. He often covers the best guard, and part of defense is rebounding. Avery sees that’s what we’re lacking. After the first few games he really emphasized that,” said Ainge. “He wants to win as bad as anybody. That’s why I agree with Tommy; those two guys are as great of competitors as we’ve seen.READ MORE: Holiday Tipping - Who Should Get One, And How Much? Advice From An Etiquette Expert
“Avery’s rebounding is a great example,” he said. “He sees our team needs to do that to be successful, and he just makes that decision to go get more rebounds. He does it and it’s been fun to watch.”
Ainge also touched briefly on Al Horford’s concussion, which has kept Boston’s prize signing of the offseason out of the last eight games. Ainge said Horford suffered the concussion in a practice collision with Tyler Zeller, and it’s a rather unique situation for the NBA.
“We’ve only had one other circumstance like this before in my 35 years in the NBA with [Brian Scalabrine], and I still think he’s feeling the effects of the concussion,” Ainge said, poking fun at Scal. “We don’t want to have Al turn into Scal, so we’ll take our time with Al and make sure he’s 100 percent.
“He is getting close, just not 100 percent yet,” added Ainge. “He had a great workout yesterday and we’ll see how he is today after another workout.”
Ainge also touched on Scal lighting a fire on the NBA Twitterverse earlier this week with some Celtics-Warriors trade rumors (a blockbuster trade involving Warriors guard Klay Thompson), and said there is no truth to those trade talks. He discussed how he deals with trade rumors with his players, and discussed a deal involving Ray Allen that fell apart back in 2012. Listen to the full podcast below:MORE NEWS: New York City Announces First-In-The-Nation Vaccine Mandate For Private Companies