C's introduce rookies Olynyk, Iverson
Ainge traded up twice to grab a pair of 7-footers in Thursday’s draft, sending two second-round draft picks to Dallas to move up three spots and take Olynyk from Gonzaga, and then buying the 53rd overall pick from Indiana and taking Iverson of Colorado State.
The players soon learned lesson No. 1 of life with the Celtics: There aren’t too many low numbers available on the NBA’s most-decorated franchise. The Celtics have retired 21 numbers, including 17 from 00-25, and Pierce’s No. 34 is almost certain to be next (unless Ainge’s No. 44 goes first). Olynyk got No. 41, which was most productively worn by James Posey as a member of the 2008 NBA championship team; Iverson took No. 37, which has never been worn by a Celtic in an NBA game, according to BasketballReference.com.
"There’s not a lot of numbers left, so obviously (there have been) a lot of great players," Iverson said. "No matter what happens here, I'm excited to be a part of it and I'm going to do whatever it takes to be in a Celtics jersey."
Olynyk said playing with Garnett and Pierce would have been a privilege, but joining a team that is in the process of trading away its two biggest stars (along with its coach) creates a chance for meaningful rookie minutes.
"Learning from those guys would be unbelievably exciting," he said. "Hopefully there are opportunities for us."
Olynyk has already made a splash in Boston -- with his long hair.
Ainge made several cracks about Olynyk’s shoulder-length mane, saying it "looks like a hippie from Eugene, Ore., in 1977." Asked by reporters if there was any thought of cutting back now that he’s in the NBA, Olynyk said genially, "We'll definitely have a look at that in the near future."
But co-owner Steve Pagliuca put his foot down: "We’re fine with it here at the Celtics," he said with a chuckle.
Olynyk rolled with the jokes about his hair (as well as a few chin whiskers, which Ainge playfully suggested was his "Scooby-Doo" look). Iverson downplayed a report that said he would consider playing overseas during the 2013-14 season and said his focus is on making the Celtics' roster.
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