When the Boston Celtics huddled to watch film in Denver this week, coach Brad Stevens invited one of the best film-watchers he knows to join the team: Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
"[Manning] was nice enough to come over and watch some film,” Stevens said of the quarterback, who won Super Bowls with both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. "He’s one of the better film-watchers I've ever been around. He was probably on us [Monday] night for a couple of our miscues but it was great to have him around.
"We did some back and forth, questions-wise, but we didn't want to put him on the spot. It was good to see him. I've known him since I've been in Indy; he's been a good friend of mine. It's pretty special to get the opportunity to know Peyton when I lived in Indy and now [Tom] Brady in New England. It's about as good as it gets.”
Manning, who recently began breaking down film as part of Kobe Bryant’s “Detail” series with ESPN, got the unique experience of watching Stevens and his staff dissect NBA film. Manning also shared some thoughts on overcoming adversity to be a two-time champion in the NFL.
“He’s a championship winner, unbelievable preparer of the game,” Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving said of Manning. "He was doing it for so long, thinking about the injuries he had to endure. It was great to see him just come and talk to your team, being in Denver and just having an echelon of greatness coming and talking, there’s nothing like it.”
Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry told the Boston Globe that, "even though Manning did not fully grasp what he was watching, it was clear how much he enjoyed being back in that competitive environment."
Celtics players, including Marcus Morris, took photos with Manning after his visit with the team.
Manning was in Denver on Sunday when the Broncos hosted the Texans at Mile High Stadium.
As for why Manning made an appearance, Stevens and Manning have been friends since their Indiana days. Stevens coached at Butler University while Manning played for the Colts.
This was a bit different than the kind of film Manning spent 17 years reviewing while in the NFL, but he enjoyed the experience nonetheless. Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry said "even though Manning did not fully grasp what he was watching, it was clear how much he enjoyed being back in that competitive environment."
Not only did he help the team review film, Manning also explained to the Celtics the importance of growing from playoff losses, as well as cherishing camaraderie with teammates.
“It’s great, man,” Kyrie Irving said of Manning’s visit. “He’s a championship winner, unbelievable preparer of the game. He was doing it for so long, thinking about the injuries he had to endure. It was great to see him just come and talk to your team, being in Denver and just having an echelon of greatness coming and talking, there’s nothing like it.”
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