WALTHAM, Mass. -- Playing for his seventh team in his ninth NBA season, Carlos Arroyo is no stranger to changing scenery. But even he admits that the 2010-11 season has been an unexpectedly wild ride.
After starting 42 games for the Miami Heat, Arroyo was jettisoned last week after falling out of the team's rotation. He got swooped up by the rival Boston Celtics and said after his first practice Tuesday at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint that he's simply excited to still have a chance at winning a title.
"It’s been a roller coaster," admitted Arroyo. "But I'm truly excited to start a new career here in Boston. It's a great opportunity for me and my career, to do whatever possible to help this team win. Whatever coach needs me to do out there -- be a leader, get guys involved, put them in the right spots. I'm just truly excited be part of a great franchise overall with great teammates."
Arroyo said he'd already dove headlong into the playbook and hadn't even discussed his role with Boston before hitting the floor for the first time with his new teammates. That role is pretty clear, anyhow, as the Celtics are hopeful Arroyo can provide a much-needed reserve ball-handler who can run the offense and drive down escalating minutes for Rajon Rondo before the playoffs arrive.
From there, it's up to Arroyo to prove that he deserves to be part of the playoff rotation.
"It's nice, it's just going to take him some time, but he knows how to run a team and that will be great for us," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We don't know [his playoff role] yet. We don't know how he's going to play. If he plays great the rest of the year, he'll answer that question."
Arroyo nimbly sidestepped questions about his former employer, including one asking him about tears shed in the Miami locker room (Arroyo simply laughed and offered a polite, "No comment.") He also stressed that revenge isn't high on his priority list.
"I would love to win a championship, no matter who we beat," said Arroyo. "I think this is the right team, the right guys to do it. I love the chemistry they have on the court and off the court, the team they have. It's what everyone would like to have."
Arroyo did admit that the carnival atmosphere in South Beach got to be a bit much, and this came as he was standing in front of an oversized throng of reporters on hand for a midweek practice in Boston.
"It was too much at times," said Arroyo. "Media everywhere, fans everywhere. Like a lot of people say, it's like being The Beatles. I'm just happy to be here."