3-pointer: Crawford the leader
September, 13, 2013
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonCeltics players gathered in Dorchester Friday for a youth clinic.A trio of leftover notes after Boston Celtics players (Jordan Crawford, Kelly Olynyk, Phil Pressey, MarShon Brooks, and camp invite Chris Babb) and staff (head coach Brad Stevens and assistants Walter McCarty and Ronald Nored) participated in a youth basketball clinic at the Holland Elementary School in Dorchester as part of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation’s annual community service days:
* CRAWFORD THE LEADER!? Jordan Crawford, whose maturity has been questioned at times during his NBA career, suggested Friday that he's trying to be a leader on a young Celtics team.
"Just trying to build the team, we've got a lot of young guys," said Crawford. "I’m going into my fourth year, I’m actually kinda getting looked upon to lead, you know, in the weight room. Just trying to lead everybody, show them the right way to do it."
Pressed on his leadership qualities, Crawford added, "I kinda got a strong personality, so people kinda gravitate towards me in locker rooms and on the court, so it’s my job to lead them in the right direction."
Crawford, who drew headlines last season for a head-shaking sock choice and for barking at Carmelo Anthony after a postseason win in New York, arrived in Boston early this offseason and hopes that extra time will help a young team bond.
"[There's] a lot of nice guys that like each other, they all want to be around to build chemistry," said Crawford. "It’s important to be here early now so that, when the preseason starts, we’ll be a little ahead of the game."
On a team in need of ball-handling help, the slick-passing Crawford has potential to carve out a role, particularly if Rajon Rondo is not ready for the start of the season. The Celtics brought him in with the goal of adding a wildcard scorer last season at the trade deadline, but they need his full skill set for him to emerge from a crowded 2-guard field during the 2013-14 season.
* FOOT IN FOCUS FOR OLYNYK: A case of plantar fasciitis forced Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk to skip training with the Canadian men's national team this summer (he did spend time with the group forging chemistry for the future), but he gave another optimistic outlook on the injury as camp nears.
"It's getting a lot better," said Olynyk. "Obviously, we’re still taking precautionary measures to make sure I’m ready to go for training camp; hopefully it doesn’t linger throughout the year."
Pressed on if he expected to be limited at all by the foot ailment, Olynyk added, "Hopefully not, that would be the best thing. And hopefully it doesn’t limit me throughout the year."
* INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY: Friday's event was supposed to be the first public event for Brazilian center Vitor Faverani, but he was a late scratch. That didn't stop Olynyk and Stevens from offering positive reviews based on what they've seen from the overseas import recently.
"I think he’s a skilled big, he can shoot the basketball, he can score it on the blocks," said Stevens. "He is a big, long guy. And he’s a really nice kid who wants to learn. He’s still very young, even though he’s been a professional [in Spain] for quite a while. I think he’s going to be a good player."
Added Olynyk: "He’s good. He’s a smart player, pretty skilled actually. There's a little athlete in him as well. He’s solid all-around guy. I think he’s a hard-worker and he’s going to be good for us in the future, even this year, and I'm looking forward to stepping on the floor with him."