West Invites Competition at Point
By Peter F. Stringer
July 4, 2006
WALTHAM - Delonte West isn't living under a rock. He saw that the Celtics picked up two new point guards on draft day.
Some guys would be annoyed. Others would be upset. West seems excited about it.
"You have to have competition in the organization in order for the team to grow. We're heading in the right direction," said West, who watched the Celtics summer league mini-camp from a stationary bike in the corner of the gym at The Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint Tuesday afternoon.
"We're adding speed. Sebastian already has two years of experience, and Rondo is really confident. Every year you've just got to prepare for next year," West said.
He certainly doesn't seem concerned about losing the starting point guard gig and welcomes the challenge from the new faces in green.
"I play this game because I love the sport and the competition. Everybody has something they like to compete in. You might like the competition of chess. I like the competition of basketball. So if you don't like competition you shouldn't be playing ball. It's a competitive sport."
Obviously, West's heard the speculation that he might end up playing more shooting guard this season with the Rondo and Telfair in the mix. But less than a week after the NBA Draft, he isn't worried about what his role will be in November just yet.
"I'm not even thinking that far ahead right now," West said. "I mean, come training camp there could be three other guards in here and you'll be asking the same questions again. I'm glad that we're improving our team, making a better team, and I'm just getting prepared for training camp."
In the meantime, West has been working at improving his game over the offseason. What is he focusing on?
"Everything," said West with a smirk, spreading his hands out in front of his face to emphasize his point. "I'll be seeing [reporters] all year, so I've got to give you something to report on through the year."
After some more prodding, he talked about improving with his right hand. The basic scouting report on West would say that he typically goes to his left.
Perkins Itching To Get Back on the Floor
Kendrick Perkins pulled up the left sleeve on his t-shirt to reveal his left shoulder.
"My arm shrunk!" said Perkins, laughing.
Perkins, who suffered a second shoulder dislocation on May 25 during offseason workouts, is relieved to be out of the arm sling, says the shoulder feels fine and he has full range of motion back in the joint. He said he thinks he'll be allowed to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and will have to wait about six weeks to be in any contact situations.
As for his current workout regiment, Perkins said he can lift weights on his right side but hasn't been cleared to do any lifting with the left arm.
"Bike riding and the Stairmaster, that's about it," said Perkins. "I'm anxious to get back in the gym. I will be ready for training camp. Ain't no 'hopefully.' I will be ready."
The Celtics officially signed first round draft pick Rajon Rondo today. Terms were not disclosed in keeping with club policy.