If you saw the Eddie House tribute video during last night’s game against New York, as well as Nate Robinson’s standing ovation, you could have thought they were the only two players involved in the trade. But — spoiler alert! — there were actually three others traded.
Marcus Landry has been the most overlooked of the three. The brother of Carl Landry — one of the Sacramento Kings’ newest members — Marcus seems to be a player you really want to root for. Seriously, check out this story from ESPN, back when Landry was still in colllege at the University of Wisconsin. (Via ESPNBoston)
He became a father in college. Not just of one child, either: He and wife Efueko Osaga-Landry had three. He had to keep food on his family’s table, despite earning no income while trying to balance the rigors of big-time Division One Basketball and a normal class schedule. Landry somehow found the time — between cooking dinner (he’s apparently a great cook), cleaning diapers, and earning his degree — to improve himself from a 5.9-ppg scorer as a sophomore into an NBA talent as a senior.
His college coach, Bo Ryan, said having kids and starting a family helped Landry in every aspect of life. (same ESPN link)
“I don’t like to be pie in the sky, but I do believe it’s not coincidental that when [Landry] got married, things changed,” Ryan said. “He’s gotten more mature in every aspect of his life.”
Read the rest of the story. It’s really impressive to see the maturity level Landry had even in college. I don’t know if he’ll ever play a minute as a Celtic, but I know I’ll be rooting for him to make it in the NBA.
Landry wasn’t the only “other player” in the deal.
One of the others was Bill Walker. Despite a lack of playing time, Walker was sad to leave the Celtics. But he knows he’ll have an opportunity to play with the Knicks, and he’s ready for that after riding the pine for a couple years in Boston. (Boston Herald)
“It definitely is,” Walker said [when asked if playing for the Celtics was a double-edged sword]. “You want to get out there. That’s the only way you’ll really learn the game. You go out there and you’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes. But at the same time you always want to play on a good team and have a chance of winning an NBA championship. That’s what we all play for.
“You’ve got a group in the other locker room that has goals in mind, trying to win a championship this year. They don’t have room for mistakes, and that’s why it’s hard to get in the game over there. Over here right now, (we) might not make the playoffs – really just trying out guys.”
Walker has already started to make the most of his “tryout,” with two dunks and overall solid play in yesterday’s loss to Boston. J.R. Giddens didn’t play, but he too is excited for the chance to earn a spot in the rotation… even though he seems to wish he could have had a better opportunity in Boston.
“I came up here and I worked hard. You know, I don’t feel like I got too many opportunities to play. I’m not trying to have any bad blood, because you know I enjoyed everybody in the organization. I’m still cool with everybody now. It’s just I don’t feel like I got a chance to get out there and get any really good minutes and show what I could do.
“Hopefully I can get a chance to show what I can do in New York, because any ballplayer just wants to get out there and play. When you’re working hard and not playing, it’s a very mentally challenging thing to go through for almost two years.”
I was actually pretty upset the Celtics had to lose Walker and Giddens in the deal. Walker, especially, showed signs of promise and it is still clear that he has the talent to be a valuable player in the NBA.
But I understand you’ve got to give up some talent to get some in return, and Nate Robinson is an upgrade from House.
The other guy the Celtics got, Landry? I don’t know how good a player he is, or could become, but I do know I’ll be cheering for him.
And not just because he’s on my favorite team.