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Avery Bradley said Kevin Garnett helped keep him going

Aug 14, 2012, 10:44 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four Getty Images

Going to the NBA can be a real adjustment for most players — in high school and college they were the stars of their team, the big men on campus, their ego gets fed. Then they enter the NBA and are buried on a bench, rarely see the court and have their deficiencies come to define them.

How you get through it is keep working, improve the weaknesses and take advantage of opportunities. Which is exactly what Avery Bradley did with the Celtics — his rookie year he played in less than half the team’s games and shot just 34.3 percent. By the end of is second season Ray Allen was coming off the bench behind him.

But Bradley admitted you still need encouragement to get through those times, and he told WEEI that Kevin Garnett was a guy who helped him a lot.

One day, KG saw me on the bus,” he said. “I had my hoodie on. I was a little down. I wasn’t playing. He could tell I wasn’t the same Avery, always smiling but shy, and he told me, ‘You know what? I was sitting back in my room last night watching tapes of you in high school. If you continue to work how hard you work every day and never give up, the way you played in high school, you’ll play in the NBA.’…

And after Bradley had started to play key minutes last season…

“Then, one day I’m on the bus after a game and all KG said was, ‘I told you,’” added Bradley. “At first I had no clue what he was talking about. He always sits in the back of the bus and tells his stories, and he’s like, ‘I told you that. If you continue to work … hard work always pays off.’ Coming from KG, that made me feel good and made me want to keep working, so I can be like him.”

That’s KG the leader at his best.

Not that Bradley is ever going to be like him.

  1. drunkenjunk - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    as big of a douche as kg can be, he’s a douche you want on your team.

  2. lucaslatronico - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    as much i agree with you, the last sentence was unnecessary.

    • Kansachusetts - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      Bradley is going to be great.

  3. lakerluver - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I’d take KG on my team any day, all day!

  4. paleihe - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Why wouldn’t Bradley be able to be just as good a leader as KG?

    Derek Fisher is an incredible leader, as was Avery Johnson. You don’t need great skills to be a great leader.

  5. thekidjdk - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I’m a Boston sports fan and i’ve been fortunate enough recently to see some great players come through. Kevin Garnett is one of the guys i can truely say i would pay to see play. This guy bring it every night for 82 games a year. I always knew he was a great player but getting to see him these past years up close has been amazing.

  6. therealgts - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Derek Fisher is the most overrated leader of our generation. Dude is a drama queen washed up never was. He hit one huge shot against the spurs back in ’64 and everyone got on his d. Never could play D, horrific shot selection and he is a dirty cheap player

    • rtfinch - Aug 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Yet he’s always a key contributor on the court and in the locker room on winning teams..

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 14, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        “Yet he’s always a key contributor on the court and in the locker room on winning teams.”

        That’s why the Lakers let him go because they wanted to “get younger” and eventually replaced him with a 38 year old?

        That’s why the OKC Thunder, a young team that could use veteran leadership, brought him on for a few months but has no interest in bringing him back?

    • giselleisasucubus - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      That is the most uninformed comment ever on this site. Fischer has won 5 titles and he was a big part of all of them. Go back to the finals and take a look at the HUGE shots that Fischer has hit. He isn’t nearly as talented as Avery Bradley (who is considerably more talented than guys like Kurt want to admit. Kid is 21 still) but he WAS a leader. I think his days are numbered, but try watching the playoffs before commenting.

      • scalfor3 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:31 AM

        yeah. i think kobe’s opinion on d fish speaks volumes.

        and avery bradley has serious talent. people forget that he was the #2 player in his high school class (behind only john wall)

  7. pop562 - Aug 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    say what you want about Fisher, but he has 4 more rings than KG, Pierce and Rondo.

    • giselleisasucubus - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      What the hell does that have to do with anything? Chuck Nevitt has one more ring than Shaq. Stick to the subject pop.

  8. lakerluver - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    The hating has to stop! How do some of you know what kind of leader Fish is?! Have you ever been in the locker room with him? Fish was never the most talented player on the court. His big shot and leadership abilities are the things that allowed him to play so long. He has 5 rings, how many do you have? Case closed.

  9. giselleisasucubus - Aug 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    lakerluver, I’m a Celtic guy. I know what Fischer brings. He saved the Lakers ass in 2010.

  10. j0esixpack - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    You know who else will never be as good an inspirational leader as KG?

    A very biased reporter with the initials KH

    Bradley and all in the NBA respect KG … Fortunately for Bradley, no one feels the same way about Kurt.

  11. pop562 - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    The bashing on fisher and his leadership is relevant to what I was saying. His leadership skills and experience in playoff games and the championship help the lakers get 5 titles. His work ethic is great and keeps himself in great shape and was rarely injured.

  12. unxpexted1 - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Never been a fan of KG but he seems like a great teamate to play for. Yo, seriously, if a HOF NBA player says “yo i was watching tapes of you in high school” thats love.

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