Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless, who is taking part in a Boys & Girls Club charity event sponsored by Nesquik (details below), answered questions for Boston.com on the adjustment from college to the NBA for this year’s top draft prospects and on a difficult Celtics season.
Question: You went to Arizona. Who you got in the NCAA Tournament now that we know the Sweet 16?
Hopefully Arizona does it. I have a lot of ties with that program. It’s great seeing them do well, so hoping they do.
There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about the top prospects for the NBA Draft not performing well in the NCAA Tournament. What’s the biggest difference between playing in college and the NBA?
Just the realization that it’s not the same anymore. You’re jumping into a business. Everybody thinks its going to be the same as college or high school, but you have to treat it like a business.
How did you handle the adjustment?
Just continue to work. You can kind of get lackadaisical, playing so many games. I learned to take at least 30 minutes every day to work on some part of my game
Are there team situations that are better for a young player?
Oh for sure. Being a young player and going into a team full of veterans, that’s going to be tough. Being with other young players is a little easier.
What advice would you give guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker? Would they benefit from another year in college?
I think they can learn just as well in the NBA. I’m pretty sure they’ll end of leaving and pursuing their NBA careers. They’re going to be successful. They’re going to be great players.
You’ve become the team model of sorts for the new sleeved jerseys. How do you feel about the sleeved jerseys?
I dont mind them at all. They’re actually pretty cool. There’s no problem on my end.
This has been a tough season for the Celtics in terms of wins and losses. What’s the hardest part about being on a losing team?
I don’t think it’s hard. It’s frustrating, but I don’t think it’s hard. The coaching staff and organization do a great job of keeping us focused.
I heard you praise coach Stevens in a radio interview earlier. When did you first know he knew his stuff?
You can see that pretty quickly. There’s things he talks about on other teams, on individual players and their tendencies, on what they’re capable of. He does an amazing job of preparation.
Would you like to return to the Celtics next season?
I would be happy about that. That would be great. One of the things I said when I got here is I want to find a home somewhere. I’d be very happy staying here.
Event details: On Wednesday, the Celtics will host kids from area Boys & Girls Clubs for a basketball tournament to be played prior to the Raptors game that evening. Two teams will advance to final round, taking place during halftime of Celtics-Raptors. Nesquik will make a donation of $10,000 to purchase equipment for after-school programs following the games. Bayless will stop by to greet the participants prior to the game.
Also at Wednesday’s game, 25 pairs of signed bunny ears will be handed out to the crowd. Those who receive a pair of the signed ears will be eligible for a meet-and-greet with Bayless after the game.