You Want Character? You Got It In the Newest Boston Celtics
BOSTON – It was, truly, the perfect press conference.
Smiles. Jokes. Laughter. Camaraderie. Public Relations 101, pretty much.
Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters hit it out of the proverbial park during their debut performance in front of the Boston media.
The quartet, settled in Monday morning behind a lengthy podium table inside the Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters, met a brigade of Boston media for the very first time at their introductory press conference. If the event had been a test, they all aced it with flying colors.
All four players lived up to the hype surrounding their supreme character. They flashed broad smiles, they cracked witty jokes, and they said all of the right things. They showcased everything an organization would want out of its savvy veterans, let alone out of its rookies.
It’s no surprise, then, that Celtics basketball operations czar Danny Ainge fell in love with their combination of high character and pure basketball abilities on Draft night.
“Every one of these guys had great, successful college careers, and they’re great people,” said Ainge, who was flanked to the left of the players at Monday’s podium. “I believe that with talking with them and background checks that we do and talking to high school coaches and graduate assistants and trainers and so-forth, these guys have the desire to become great, and they’ll put in the work, and have the focus to do what it takes to live up to the potential that they have.”
They’ve already put in the work to develop into great human beings. That much is clearly evident.
The leader of the pack in that regard is Williams, who arrived to Boston after playing three seasons at the University of Tennessee. Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward, served as the de facto leader of the group Monday morning and made the statement of the event while answering a question about what he can add to Boston’s frontcourt.
“Well, for myself,” he said, “it’s really just going to be whatever it takes for us to hang the next banner here.”
That’s a professional answer, and Later in the day, he reiterated to Celtics.com that his only statistical worry is the win category.
“Honestly, for myself, it’s always just been about winning,” he said. “I’ve never really cared about how many points I scored or how many rebounds and statistics I get that night. It’s always been about if we won or not.”
The rest of the crew made similar comments throughout the day. Langford, known for his offensive prowess, instead talked more about his defense than his scoring. He said that his length will translate to him being able to guard multiple positions.
Edwards, who became a household name while torching opponents with his scoring during the NCAA tournament, brushed aside a question about his personal tournament run and instead commented about his team as a whole.
“It was cool,” he said of his dominant tournament scoring, “but I was really just trying to enjoy it all with my teammates.”
Lastly, Waters, the 51st pick, spoke with confidence, consistently complimented his teammates, told a couple of jokes, and later told Celtics.com that he is fulfilled by playing for his teammates.
“You receive an abundance in life, and you’ll have the best life, when you live through others - when you want to live for other people” Waters said, repeating a message from his collegiate coach at LSU. “I feel like that’s how I play basketball.”
Truthfully, all four of these prospects play that way, and that should make the upcoming rendition of the Summer Celtics quite entertaining to watch in Las Vegas.
Langford, Williams, Edwards and Waters will combine with Celtics returnee Robert Williams to create the core of this year’s Summer League team. All of those players are unselfish, and many of them have relationships that date back to playing on travel teams or within the USA Basketball circuit.
“Everybody knows each other coming in, usually at least by reputation,” said Ainge, “but these guys seem to have a pretty good bond.”
Maybe that’s because all four players have a similar make-up. They’re all high-character players with a true will to win.
Those traits were on full display Monday morning as the newest members of the Boston Celtics basked in the positive vibes of their introductory – and perfect – press conference.