Kevin Love will not be walking through that door. Instead, the Boston Celtics have an influx of young talented players trying to improve on a 25-win season a year ago. The team still has All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, but loving out on the Love sweepstakes may lead to Rondo being shipped out as well. In the meantime, head coach Brad Stevens has to coach the players he has been given. Former Celtics forward Kris Humphries feels Stevens is the right man for the job. On Wednesday, gave the Celtics coach nothing but praise.
Humphries, who played one season with the Celtics before joining the Washington Wizards in a sign-and-trade deal, has nothing but praise for his former coach. The new Wizards forward credited Stevens with helping him improve after 10 seasons already played in the NBA.
He told reporters, “I talked to Brad all the time, and it’s just one of those things where, ‘Man, you got me a lot better’. Handling the ball, making plays, things like that. Shooting. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep playing in a lot of situations like the one I was in.”
Humphries is expected to be a key contributor off the bench for the Wizards and he attributes that to Stevens for showing him that patience does pay off. The 29-year-old expressed desire to remain in Boston, but decided it was time for him to play and contribute to a winning team.
He said, “When you’re on a team like [Washington], which I feel blessed to be in this situation, everything you do is important and you feel important. Whatever you do on a winning team is magnified. You feel better doing stuff when you’re working towards something. It’s a little tougher when you’re playing the right way, making sacrifices, and your team doesn’t have a chance to make the playoffs.”
The Celtics are currently in rebuild mode, but the fact that a veteran like Humphries even considered a return speaks highly on the influence Stevens has. That’s why the Celtics organization is hopeful Stevens will have the same influence on younger players like Evan Turner, Marcus Thornton and Tyler Zeller.