Vincent Poirier had an awkward first meeting with four of his new Celtics teammates at the World Cup, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Poirier was part of the French team that gave the U.S. their second loss of the tournament and eliminated them from medal contention.
“After the game I think they were a little bit mad, so I don’t come to them and say, ‘Hey, I’m Vincent,” Poirier said. “But they knew who I was, so that was good.”
Poirier took home a bronze medal from the World Cup and talked extensively to his French teammates about life in the NBA. Poirier has spent the past three seasons in Spain and is ready for the NBA challenge at age 25. Celtics scouts have seen him in person at least 10 times over the past two years and were interested in signing him at the end of last season, but he preferred to wait.
“I told a couple people I think this is the best year for me to go to the NBA because I’ve got 100% confidence in myself,” he said. “I trust my basketball and I think it’s a perfect moment.”
There’s more from Boston:
- Gordon Hayward offered a message to fans on his personal blog, promising “the reins are off” for the upcoming season. Hayward was still recovering from a severe ankle injury last summer and said he has benefited from having a full offseason to work on his game. “Last year, I was in my own head a lot, thinking about a lot of different things—hoping that it was going to be okay, hoping that I was going to be right—because I just hadn’t done it. I hadn’t had a chance to put in the reps,” Hayward wrote. “Going into this season, I’ve put in the reps all summer. I know my body is still just as good and feels 100 percent, and certainly, I know the guys on the team a lot better now than I did last year too. All the unknowns are gone. That’s the biggest difference.”
- There will be several interesting battles to focus on when training camp opens, writes Jay King of The Athletic. One will occur at the wing position, where Hayward will be competing with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown to join Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum in the starting lineup. The other story lines involve who plays center at the end of games and who can earn reserve minutes at power forward and in the backcourt.
- Even though Walker had a full summer with his World Cup responsibilities, coach Brad Stevens said the free agent addition will be “ready to roll” when camp begins, relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.