I’ve heard a lot of basketball sayings over the years. I’ve busted some ass. (Pause). I’ve gone ninja. I’ve caught fire. I’ve raised the roof a little. I’ve done the Walker Wiggle. I’ve said, “Momma there goes that man” and “that was the worst pass in the history of Western civilization.” I’ve put shackles on a player, I’ve locked players up, and I’ve been burned.
But I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase, “Player X puts people in a phone booth.” Yet that’s apparently what Avery Bradley does. (Boston Globe)
Speaking of Avery Bradley, on draft night, Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers were drooling over the 19-year-old’s defense. Bradley’s AAU coach, Garry Ward, gushes in a way that’s part boxing promoter, part player agent.
“Avery’s one of those guys, he puts people in a phone booth,’’ Ward said. “He could guard you so tight that you didn’t even want the ball no more. Avery Bradley makes the best ball handlers on the other team give up the ball. You see point guards give the ball to the center, and make the center bring the ball up.
“You know the definition of harassment?’’ Ward continued. “If you’ve got that ball, he’s going to harass you. He’s not going to harass you for one trip up the court, he’s going to do it for 48 minutes.’’
After everything I’ve heard about this kid, he’d better be the next Lindsey Hunter defensively. (For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, watch tapes of Lindsey. Dudes could barely dribble upcourt against him). Anything else will fall short of reaching all these drooling old men’s predictions — they seem to think Bradley will be the best defender since Bill Russell in his prime. I mean, Bradley “guards you so tight that you didn’t even want the ball no more.” He forces point guards to pass the ball to centers, and makes the center bring the ball up. That’s incredibly impressive stuff, especially since Bradley apparently defended the point guard so tightly that he forgot he could pass the ball to the shooting guard instead of the center.
Anyway, don’t bother trying to score on me in my next summer league game on Wednesday night. I’ll be too busy putting dudes in phone booths. Whoever I’m guarding better learn to dial 9-1-1.
P.S. – Danny Ainge had this to say about Bradley: ”We’re excited about Avery and what he can be and what his future holds. But I would never put pressure on any rookie, let alone a 19-year-old rookie coming into training camp of a team from the NBA Finals. He has a lot of work to do. He has a lot of things to learn about the NBA and about our team, but we’re very confident.”