Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Competing against these guys over the years, I think they know what I can do,” the 6-foot-9 swing forward said after his first Celtics practice Thursday. “I know what they can do. I think it’ll be really easy for me to fit in. I gotta be the tough guy on the team. I gotta be the protector. Guys, you know, knocking my guys down, I can’t have that. You know what I’m saying? It’s going to be my role to be the bully. And I accept that.
“When I’m off the court, I’m cool and collected. But when I’m on the court, technical fouls. I kinda dumbed it down last year, I only had like six,” said Morris. “But the year before that I was like top three (in the league). It just depends on how hard they foul me. Like I said, man, I gotta protect my guys out there. I’m going to be the bully on the team.”
While the 6-foot-9, 240-pounder said he looks to be a “bully” on the court, he insisted he is a “good guy” off the court. He said he was concerned that part of his reputation was taking a hit before he and his brother, Markieff, were acquitted on Tuesday in their Arizona aggravated assault trial for an incident that occurred nearly three years ago.
“It’s a big relief,” he said. “I felt like it was kind of killing my character for people who don’t know me. To get acquitted of everything, and be a Boston Celtic, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Providence Journal – Cleared of charge, Morris happy to join Celtics
The Celtics dispatched staffers to Phoenix to work out Morris each day before he went to the courtroom. Morris said those sessions helped him learn the offensive and defensive principles of coach Brad Stevens’ system.
“You can tell a guy who has played in the league for a long time,” Stevens said after Morris’ first practice. “He’s been coached really well at every level. We tried to keep him as up to speed as we could over the last 10 days or so. I thought he transitioned pretty smoothly.
“He’ll play [Friday]. I’ll see how he feels. This was his first practice. It was a hard practice. He also came in at 9 in the morning and went through a series of drills with our younger, younger players. He had a good day.”
“(The trial) was very difficult,” Morris added. “I love playing basketball. Just for me to be coming to a new place and not being able to be there, one of the first guys there, just learning everybody. It’s a little tough but that’s behind me. I’m ready to play. I’m ready to get going.”
With Jae, IT and Jonas “Stop Flopping” Jerebko long gone, it’s been fair to ask if the Cs perhaps had lost some of their edge – the screw-you attitude that helped them overachieve the past two years. Well, Marcus “Mook” Morris absolutely dispelled that thought at his first practice. Toughness will not be a question when the two Marcuses and Aron Baynes are on the floor together.
More important, it’s good to know that Mook took part in his own private mini-camp while not in the courtroom the past week-plus. It’s not the same as being in Newport and Waltham, of course, but there are still three exhibition games and a dozen days of practice until opening night.
Meanwhile, Mook is already fitting in well in Boston. His favorite Celtic is Paul Pierce and he hates the traffic.
Related: CSNNE – Trial over, Morris joins Celtics at last . . . to everyone’s delight | MassLive – Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards beef still alive? Markieff Morris says he’s going to kick Al Horford’s behind
On Page 2: Skinny Smart still showing off
Not sure which is more impressive – the two-footed leap and slam or the fadeaway swish after that.
And, finally: All for one, one for all
Keeping with local tradition, the Celts gave a shoutout to their fellow local teams yesterday on a huge day for Boston sports. It didn’t help the Red Sox, who were hammered, 8-2, in a playoff game at Houston. But the Bruins came through with a 4-3 victory in their season opener, and the Patriots hung on to win at Tampa, 19-14.
The Rest of the Links:
Basketball Insiders – NBA PM: Guerschon Yabusele: The Celtics’ Secret Weapon