Herren Returns to the Fold
Herren and fellow point guard Milt Palacio (right) hault from scrimmaging to listen to Jim O'Brien's instructions.
Chris Herren practiced with the Celtics for the first time since last season today. The Fall River native was released from his contract with Italian team Fortitudo Bologna, opening the door for him to comeback to Boston.
With Randy Brown suffering from a recurring groin injury, Herren's return means that Head Coach Jim O'Brien has a much-needed additional option at the point guard spot.
"I am excited to be here," said Herren after practice on Wednesday. "It was a difficult year for me last year. It would have been a difficult for anyone to go through, basketball player or not, to have shoulder surgery and other injuries I had."
Herren now appears to be in tremendous physical condition, thanks in part to a rigorous training camp with Bologna. This is a huge turn of events from last year at this time, when stipulations in a trade between the Celtics and the Nuggets did not allow Herren to train with Boston until October 16, 2000. This forced him to loose valuable training and conditioning time with the Celtics. Subsequent injuries - which kept him out 39 games in all - only further impeded his progress.
However, he did show flashes late in the season. Against Washington on April 7, he drained three treys in the final quarter to help the Celts to a 102-100 come-from-behind win. His long-range shooting, intensity, as well as his familiarity with O'Brien's system make him a fit into the Celtics up-tempo scheme.
"I feel the best I have ever felt. I am in the best physical condition of my career - strength wise and conditioning wise. I am ready to go."
"Look I don't know what the future holds. The future is tonight at 7:00 PM (the Celtics evening training session), and then tomorrow's practices and so on."