Avery Bradley is one of the NBA’s best defenders at his position and has been for some time. He’s such a formidable force on that end that, toward the end of Ray Allen’s tenure in Boston, Doc Rivers seriously considered moving Bradley into the starting lineup and bringing Allen off the bench.
It’s a role that he absolutely relishes. In a recent interview with Tom Westerholm of Masslive.com, Bradley talked about the importance of not being intimidated about the prospect of facing the best guards on the planet on a nightly basis. Hat tip to Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk for the find:
“I love the challenge,” Bradley said on Friday, making an appearance at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I love going up against the best players. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care about getting embarrassed. I don’t care. Kyrie Irving, none of those guys scare me. I know some players in the NBA probably get butterflies before the game, but not me. I’m licking my lips. I come excited. They need to prepare for me at the end of the day. That’s how I think.”
After landing Al Horford in free agency this summer, the revamped Celtics have a shot at making some noise in the playoffs next season. Kyrie Irving and the defending champs will most assuredly be the favorites to take the Eastern Conference crown again, so it’s good to see Bradley embracing the challenge.
The Celtics, in general, haven’t lacked for confidence lately. Last month, Jae Crowder made the bold proclamation that his squad wasn’t worried about any other team in the conference except the Cavs, which is all fine and good, although Boston will eventually have to prove it on the court.