Danny Ainge: 'Good people makes coming to work more fun'

Nick Friar
June 24, 2019 - 6:48 pm
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"Character" was somewhat of a theme at the introductory press conference for the four Celtics selection from the 2019 NBA Draft. Danny Ainge spoke on it regarding the foursome as a whole, and it became more apparent when each individual talked.

Grant Williams stole the show by admitting he's a nerd and a goofball — he had some help from Tremont Waters, who told the story of Williams wanting to play video games with his new teammates when they landed in Boston.

Romeo Langford expressed how he played through his thumb injury last season for his teammates, rather than sit out for his own personal gains.

Carsen Edwards went so far as to say he "wouldn't even consider himself in the NBA yet," because there's more work to be done.

Waters may have brought up Kyrie Irving in his first solo conference with the media, but he also made sure to mention fan favorite Isaiah Thomas.

All of this sounds completely different than anything that came out of the Celtics locker room in 2018-19. Sure, it’s easy for the draftees to be positive on their first day, but Ainge didn't give off the impression that this is a one-time deal with these players.

Now, at the moment, it doesn't seem like any of these four will turn into stars. Langford is, obviously, most likely to, but questions about his shot make it hard to imagine he could be on the same level as Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, who haven't even blossomed into stars yet. But Ainge believes there's something to be said about players who will do whatever it takes for the betterment of the team — stars or not.

"I think it just makes life more enjoyable when everybody is humble, hard-working, and will play any role they have to, to help the team succeed," Ainge said. "You do have to have a certain amount of talent to win in our league, as we all know, but good people makes coming to work more fun."

In case it wasn’t obvious enough, there’s a chance Ainge’s statement wasn’t just a compliment to the young guys.

 

Gordon Hayward update

It's possible the Celtics roster only has one player over the age of 25 on the team to start 2019-20. That one player would be Gordon Hayward.

Although he showed glimpses of his old self throughout the year, Hayward’s 2018-19 was largely a disappointment. And there've been rumors stating the way the organization handled his situation are what led to this fiasco Boston is in the midst of.

But Ainge is confident Hayward will get it together this year. If Paul George's resurgence is an accurate depiction of how a player can bounce back after suffering a severe lower-body injury, Ainge may be right.

"I think Gordon is going to have a great year," he said. "He's putting in as much work as anybody. We get to see it. He's here a lot. I'm very excited for Gordon's upcoming year."