Media day and the first official practice.

Media day for the Boston Celtics has come and gone, bringing with it a ton of quotable quotes to boot. There is seriously too much material to compile in a single post, but here’s a few of the ones I liked:

Y! Sports, AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Apparently KG was seriously thinking about retiring, but thankfully decided otherwise.

“My No. 1 reason for coming back, obviously, was [Celtics coach] Doc [Rivers]. Doc being here is huge. I enjoy playing for him. The guys, the city, the fans here are by far the best fans that I’ve ever been a part of, and all that stuck with me — along with some family motivation and other things of that nature. … You want to be in a position where you can still contribute and still give something. I don’t know how [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] talked me into three years. I’m enjoying my journey here. I know it sounds lame and kind of cheesy, but coming in here, preparing, doing what I love, all those put together is why I’m here.” – via WEEI

Y! Sports, AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Had KG retired, Pierce admitted that he would have gone along, which would have led us to a major rebuild – not something we want at this point.

“I really wasn’t confident he was coming back. He said, ‘This is it for me.’ People didn’t know this, but there were times we’d be in the locker room, and I’d be like, ‘Kevin, is this your last year?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, this is it.’ And I would say, ‘If you’re going to retire, then I’m going to retire.’ But then I started thinking: Kevin’s been in the NBA since he was 18. He doesn’t know anything else. What’s he going to do? He has to come back. When in you’ve been in the NBA that long — you’re fresh out of high school, and then you’re talking about you’re going to retire — and you’re still playing at a high level, and it’s like: What else are you going to do? This is in his blood. This is what he was born to do. For him to be playing at a high level … and with his competitive spirit, I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.” – via WEEI

If you are not sick of the Ray Allen thing yet, KG talks about what he thinks:

“I don’t have Ray’s number anymore. I’m not trying to communicate with him. I’m just being honest with everybody in here. It’s not that I wish him less than or whatever, it’s just what it is. I choose not to [communicate with him]. That’s a choice I personally made. I’m very close to Ray, I know his family, I wish nothing but the best for him and his family, I just made the choice to move on. That’s all. I’m focusing on J.T. [Jason Terry], Courtney Lee, the new guys that are here. … I wasn’t going to come here and answer a bunch of Ray Allen questions. I was going to obviously answer one time, and then focus on what’s right here in this gym and what’s present. That’s where I’m at.” – via WEEI

Y! Sports, AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Ray Allen responds to this in a similar vein, on the HEAT media day:

“That’s a shame,” Allen said after the Heat practiced Saturday. “I’m a good person to talk to on the phone.” On a serious note, Allen said, “I’m not really worried about it.”

Asked if that was just Garnett’s competitive nature speaking, Allen said, “That’s a question you have to ask him. I’ve been around long enough to know that you speak sometimes what’s been said — I don’t know how many miles apart — sometimes the translation gets mixed up. So I don’t worry about it.”

Allen still considers himself Garnett’s friend.

“Even if I was still there, I probably wouldn’t have talked to him much (this summer),” he said. “We’re friends regardless of what happened. I’m on another team, and that’s my focus right now.” – USA Today

Jason Terry just adds a little bit of fun to the mix, when asked about Ray Allen.

“Who?,” the 35-year-old Terry said with a straight face.

“No, we’re two different players and hopefully, I’ll bring something that Ray didn’t and some of the things that he did. Obviously, Ray was a great player for this franchise for years, brought them a championship in ’08. But, again, our games are totally different. He’s 6-5 and I’m 6-2, but I am “The Jet” and I like to fly so we’ll see what happens. A lot of those comparisons will be thrown out there but we’re two totally different players.” – WEEI

That’s all we’re gonna get, so bury the story and let’s get on with life. Ray Allen’s gone, and that’s it period.

Rondo seems to be growing in his leadership role so far, especially on him organising the LA practice sessions (via Y! Sports).

Y! Sports, AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Danny shows his approval for Rondo over here (not the first time he’s showing support):

“Rajon is really becoming a leader and I’m not sure a few years ago we could have said that,’’ Celtics GM Danny Ainge said Friday at the annual Media Day. “He obviously is a great player, but, right before our eyes, he is growing as a person and a leader. I think the hardest thing to do is convince guys like Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce that you’re a leader. And that’s something you can’t just give to somebody. It has to be earned. I think he is earning that respect from them.” – ESPN Boston

There’s also the full media day session if you are interested in watching it, thanks to CelticsLife for sharing.

Or if you are interested in the individual chunks, CelticsLife also has you covered:

There’s a couple of things I enjoyed on the first practice session, one of them being Courtney Lee’s flying block on JET’s shot (via ESPN’s Chris Forsberg):

I wouldn’t mind him doing a few of these to Ray in the opening game come October.

There’s also footage of the practice, pretty good stuff along with some talk from Pierce, Doc, KG, Rondo

Pierce talks about chemistry, which is pretty true. You don’t build chemistry in a week, so it’s gonna take some time to see this year’s team gel and build some real cohesion – hopefully the training in Europe does that.

Jeff Green also talks about how good it feels to be back in the team – looking forward to seeing him in the lineup this season.

I’ll end this post with Pierce’s very upbeat tweet after practice:

Not sure if this gets you excited, but it sure is making me feel good about the season ahead! (If the damn injury bug doesn’t strike again.)