The Orien and Gerald Party

June 29, 2005
WALTHAM By the time the Celtics took Orien Greene as the 53d pick in the NBA Draft last night, there was no champagne popping at the Celtics training facility. The draft party had long departed, most leaving after Boston's first-round pick earlier in the evening.

   In fact, much of the reaction came in question form:


   But fanfare or not, executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said adding Greene to the team is just what the Celtics wanted.

   "I don't know if we could have drawn [the draft] up any better," Ainge said. "Greene was a terrific high school player. I saw him play in the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time and just really liked what I saw."

   The 6-foot-4-inch, 208-pound point guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette played in 25 games and averaged 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Ragin' Cajuns last year.

   A native of Gainesville, Fla., Greene was named the state's "Mr. Basketball" his senior year after leading Gainesville High to consecutive state titles.

   His college career started in 2000 at Florida, where he played in every game his freshman year.

   He transferred to Lafayette after his sophomore year, forcing him to sit out the 2002-03 season. A quick player, Greene tallied 68 steals last season, which ended in a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Louisville.

   Ainge said Greene's physical talents and size will bring a new element to the Celtics' roster. One of Greene's biggest draws is his ball-handling skills, Ainge said.

   Greene was far from a sure thing in this year's draft, partly because injuries throughout his college career stymied his potential, Ainge said. He worked out for the Celtics twice last week.

   "He played very, very well. He held his own," he said. "We think with his physical talents, and playing point guard in college, he's just a different player with a lot of potential for us."

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