Noah, Wright Workout, But Not Against Each Other
Joakim Noah and Doc Rivers share a word after Monday's workout at HealthPoint.
Peter Stringer/Boston Celtics
WALTHAM - Joakim Noah and Brandan Wright were both in Waltham Monday morning for another round of draft workouts, but they didn't actually take the court against each other.
Wright told reporters that it was his decision to work out alone, saying that he'd rather have the team's staff focus on what he can do on the floor.
"I've been working out by myself throughout this whole process, and I'm in pretty good shape, so it's not a big thing. It has advantages and disadvantages, but I think I do a good job by myself," Wright said. "I think there's more focus on you and the coaching staff can actually see what you can do and not compare you to anybody."
Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge isn't too worried about it, as he stressed that the workouts are more designed for his coaching staff to get to see the players in person and also to get a chance to talk to them about life on and off the court. But as far as evaluating basketball abilities, Ainge reiterated that the workouts aren't incredibly valuable for him.
"It's tough to determine how workouts go when you don't play against people," Ainge said of today's session. "I'm not going to comment on that, that's Brandan's decision and his agent's. That's their strategy. It's worked before and it hasn't worked, so we'll see."
Noah, who is coming off back-to-back NCAA titles at Florida, went up against Michigan product Courtney Sims during Monday's workout and afterward told reporter "I feel you" when a it was suggested that it was strange to want to work out without competition.
Noah also mentioned that after having seen Yi Jianlian workout in one-man drills recently, he looked like the "#1 pick in the draft."
"In terms of shooting the ball, having someone pass him the ball, rip through and dunk, [he was] very impressive. There's no contest," Noah said. "But I don't know how he's going to react when someone trash talks him on the court...or when someone throws an elbow at him or something like that. I can't judge that, but from what I saw, the way he handles the drills, he's pretty impressive."
The most comfortable interview subject to date since workouts started in Waltham, Noah was very direct and engaging with the media, and he stuck around to talk about the New England prep school basketball teams he competed against back in the day. He also offered that he "had a blast in college at Florida" and joked that he would share some college stories after the cameras were shut off.
Noah also noted that he had a big mouth that occasionally got him into trouble, but seemed at peace with giving the media a piece of his mind, which is pretty rare for a collegiate player.