1981-82 Boston Celtics
The basketballs begin bouncing tonight at Hellenic College when Bill Fitch and his staff greet six survivors of the August Rookie Camp, plus Terry Duerod and Wayne Kreklow, for what the mentor fondly refers to as an "Orientation Camp" prior to the arrival of the veterans on Friday. Presuming that the average fan has a conception of Messrs. Duerod and Kreklow, here are capsule looks at the other six:
1. Charles Bradley. "We're just going to have to talk basketball to him," says Fitch of his first-round draft pick. "Put him in a room with films. He doesn't know how to play the game, but he has great physical tools." For the uninitiated, Bradley is a 6-foot-5 guard blessed with an awesome body and no shooting touch. He is Don Chaney, 12 years later. Now let's see if he improves the way The Duck did.
2. Tracy Jackson. Good God, if you could only combine Jackson's skills with Bradley's. This is a shooting man who will experience the usual difficulties making a forward-to-guard transition, especially at this level of competition. Things in his favor include the fact that he's not a bad passer, he's very intelligent and he hails from Auerbach Country, i.e. Silver Springs, Md.
3. Glenn Hagan. The idea here is that the 6-1 Hagan, who is built like a swizzle stick, could be a Tiny Archibald substitute. If so, he'll have to show more than he did at Rookie Camp, where his only obvious asset was flat-out speed.
4. Jim Brandon. Fitch claims this 6-5 St. Peter's (Jersey City) guard would have made the team last year had he not headed for Europe. His intelligence and experience made him the single best performer at the Rookie Camp, and he cannot be counted out of the picture. He's one of those people who is always around the ball.
5. John Johnson. The third draft choice is a 6-4 guard from Michigan who can shoot the ball and who now will be able to tell his grandchildren he once actually went to camp with the Boston Celtics.
6. George Morrow. Creighton has dispatched a runaway freight train of a power forward to Brookline, where he will make certain that none of the incumbent big people will fall asleep. He's a very muscular 6-8 forward who will undoubtedly make some Continental League coach happy this season.
And there is Danny Ainge, who will be a Celtic, sooner or later. Let's cross that intriguing bridge when we come to it.