Celtics guard Celtics guard Avery Bradley has kept a Celtics diary all season. In his final installment, he discusses what he’s learned this year, which teammate he looks up to, the uncertainty of being a restricted free agent this summer and his message to the fans. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)
The ankle I had hurt is feeling great. I’m going to be back on Wednesday. It’s important to be able to get back and play some more games with [Rajon] Rondo to build our chemistry. It’s amazing playing with him. We just understand how to play with one another.
It’s been unfortunate that we haven’t played a lot of games together. But we still have that chemistry because we play so hard. We want to win every single game. We’ll do whatever it takes to win games. How hard we play is what makes our chemistry so good, that and our love for the game.
Rondo did some TV analyst work on one of our games. I didn’t really check it out because I was playing at the time. I can’t see myself doing that. Being honest, it’s just not me. Speaking of him, he recently got some nasty stitches right between his forehead and nose. But that’s not the worst injury I’ve ever witnessed, the worst also involved Rondo. When he dislocated his elbow, to this day I can’t even watch it. I was on the bench and saw the replay and never wanted to see that again.
It’s hard to believe there are only two more home games before the season is over. One thing I do know is that we want to take care of the two last games we have at home by giving our fans a win. Our loss to the 76ers here left a nasty taste in our mouths. Hopefully we can finish strong in our last two games at home.
When I look back on this season, I’ll remember my teammates. In this league, you don’t always have the same team every year. So I’m going to remember my teammates and I’ll miss a few as I’m sure some will end up leaving. I’ve liked seeing some of my teammates really come into their own this season. Sully [Jared Sullinger] is one of them. On both ends of the floor, he’s really done well. I always knew he was a talented offensive player, but his defense is getting better every single game.
Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass are two teammates who I think have had really good years, but maybe haven't gotten a whole lot of attention. I love how those guys play. No matter what happens, they always had a positive attitude.
I’ve always looked up to Brandon because he’s such a good guy and he works so hard. I feel like Humps had an amazing year. He didn’t play at the beginning of the year but always carried himself as a professional coming out every single practice. He worked hard to get better and help people to get better. I just respect those two for how hard they play every single night.
I’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. I honestly don’t know what that experience is going to be like. Obviously I know different teams can be involved and the Celtics can match whatever happens. I’ve decided not to worry about it until the time comes. Of course I’d like to remain a Celtic. I love the culture here and the people here. I love the whole front office as far as Danny Ainge and everybody. They’re just great people.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned this season is no matter what the outcome is, continue to work hard. I feel like that’s something we’ve tried to do. We haven’t had a very good year but we can continue to work hard no matter what.
To be a playoff contender next year we need to play Celtics basketball. By that I mean playing hard-nosed every single night and every single possession. If we do that, we’ll make the playoffs.
It’s very weird not to be going to the playoffs this year. It’s really weird actually. We at least got a chance to work on getting better every single game this year. I still to this day have the mentality like we have a chance to be in the playoffs.
I don’t have a prediction for who will win the NBA championship this year and I honestly don’t even care. I will say San Antonio has impressed me. I say them because they’re a veteran team who plays hard. They play together and know their roles. It’s just amazing and I’ve never seen anything like it.
Like I’ve done all season, I’ll give a recommendation before I wrap this up. I thought I’d recommend some artists to listen to. While I love music I actually don’t listen to any before a game. In my car, I recommend listening to Nipsey Hussle, Drake, Dom Kennedy, Young Jeezy and Kendrick Lamar. I love music, just not before games. But for your playlist, those are the artists I’d recommend.
For this final diary, I’m not ending with a recommendation because I want to spend a minute to thank the fans. I appreciate you so much. We have the best fans in the world. From my heart, I just want you to know I do appreciate you. You came out and supported us in a down year. I’ve never seen anything like that. Take a game like Philadelphia, where we were down by double-digits and you were still cheering for us. Most fans would be either booing or leaving, but you were here. I thought that was pretty cool. I just hope you know it means a lot to us.