By Jessica Camerato
Just like any new member of the Celtics, Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody, and Semih Erden had to learn the X's and O's of the system this season. The difference for these rookies is, they also had to get accustomed to life as a pro.
As they told CSNNE.com, they have been surprised to learn about life in the NBA.
Avery Bradley: Bradley had played on the big stage before. He won a national high school championship with Findlay Prep and played a year of college ball at the University of Texas before being selected with the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Now is he trying to overcome ankle surgery and contribute to the Celtics, all while getting adjusted to a demanding schedule that has the 19-year-old in bed at the same time many people his age are just going out.
"You have to work hard," he emphasized. "Being a rookie, you have to work harder than everybody else because they expect you to not get tired as fast. They expect you to have young legs, things like that. I get here two hours before everybody else. Practice is at 11 a.m., I get here at 9. I wake up at 8:15. Everybody gets here around 9:30. I have to do a lot more extra stuff because of my ankle.
"It's tough because after practice you go so hard, you want to go home and go to sleep. But if you do that, youll be up all night. So you have to find a sleeping pattern. I go home, get something to eat, stay up, watch TV, and I wait until 10 and then I go to sleep. Then I get up and do it all over again."
Luke Harangody: There hasn't been much down time for this second-round pick from the University of Notre Dame. When he isn't practicing with the Celtics, he's sticking around at their training facility to get in extra workouts. And even though life on the road can be hard, he is learning a thing or two from his veteran teammates. The fans have helped ease the transition, too.
"The travel surprised me, getting into a city at 2 o'clock in the morning," he said. "There are so many back-to-backs in the NBA, you don't really see that in college where you never really travel from one city to another. Youre usually coming back to campus every time after a game. When you have a chance to get some sleep, I think you need to take care of your body. Watching the veterans, I learn from them and how they approach the game and how they take care of their bodies, especially in the training room.
"I was also surprised by the amount of time rookies have to get here early and put their work in. It's something that we want to do just to get better. We want to get here early and be the last ones out of the gym because as a younger guy, I dont get as many reps in at practice so I have to put more work in in the weight room and conditioning. I'll get here two hours before and leave an hour to two hours after. I like to get some shots up and conditioning on the floor. Usually we play two-on-two because the younger guys arent getting as many reps in practice.
"The atmosphere at the Garden threw me off guard. The fans love the Celtics and that was great to see and great to be a part of a team like that. They threw me out there for a preseason game introduction and that was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was happy to do that. It was great and I've even run into some fans who've said they were there for that and they told me what a good job I did. I told them they were just being nice (laughs)."
Semih Erden: Unlike Bradley and Harangody, Erden was drafted by the Celtics two years earlier in 2008. He returned to his native Turkey where he played pro ball and represented the country in the 2010 FIBA Championships. Before he came to Boston this summer, he enlisted the advice of a close friend to show him the ropes.
"I knew everything," he said. "I have my friends here - Hedo Turkoglu (Phoenix Suns) and Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks). So I asked Ersan and he explained what he does, so he helped me. I asked him about everything, travel, work outs, everything for basketball. It helped me a lot."
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.