We have all been there: the first time we lost in mini-golf or lost to an older cousin in a game of family H-O-R-S-E. You get upset, because the will to win is strong; but the mental determination does not match up to the physical abilities. In my case, I threw a full-blown hissy-fit, to which my parents would respond with a soft spoken, “it’s a learning experience”.
While Avery Bradley is more mature than I when I lost my first game of putt-putt, his time away from the game has given a time to grow off the court. In an interview with Jessica Camerato Bradly stated ”It was really hard not being able to play while they were playing Miami (in the Eastern Conference Finals),” said Bradley. “I didn’t come to any games because I couldn’t handle it yet.”
Bradley taking time away from the physical nature of the game of basketball allows him to have a greater appreciation for the mental aspect:
“I ask Rondo so many questions now,” he said. “I watch a lot of film because of him. It’s funny because it seems like I was just a rookie yesterday and now I’m helping the rookies and sometimes I’m helping the older guys because I look at the game differently.”
As the former University of Texas standout continues to improve his physical conditioning in hopes of a mid-December return, he hopes to build off of the growth he showed last year.
“People do come in and out of this league but I always look at it, I say this all the time, things happen for a reason,” he said. “I got injured for a reason and that made me hungry, want to keep working. I just continued to get better and better and better, and when my time came last year, I was prepared and I just want the same thing to happen this year. I want to continue to keep working.”
Bradley’s constant quest for self-improvement provides him with the opportunity to grow even when not physically able to be on the basketball court. The learning experience of double-shoulder surgery seems to have provided the Celtics with a valuable weapon moving forward.