Today the Celtics introduced their new player – James Posey, who won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. The Boston Globe’s Daniel Malloy files this report from Waltham.
WALTHAM — It’s been a long summer for James Posey. The new Celtics forward waited out the free agent season after Miami chose not to re-sign him, watching as almost every other available player was snatched up by eager teams.
“It was tough to see other guys sign with different teams,” Posey said this afternoon at his introductory press conference. “Every summer is different and I guess everything happens for a reason. I waited, and I was patient, and I’m finally here in a great situation.”
From the beginning of that waiting period to now, Boston has gone from being an apparent disaster area to a great situation, with the acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Posey, who likely will come off the bench as a wing player, isn’t a marquee signing like the other two (as in, he won’t appear on any Mass. Pike billboards), but can be a valuable and versatile addition.
“I’ve watched him throughout his career,” said Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
“I’ve watched him score in the post. I’ve watched him put the ball on the floor and shoot well. Defensively he’s a great addition because of his versatility. He can play the three. He can play the two. He can play the four. He can play defense on the point guards in our league. And that versatility is going to give us a lot of options over the course of the season.”
Known primarily as a defensive stopper in eight seasons with the Nuggets, Rockets, Grizzlies, and Heat, Posey said it takes a special mindset to excel on D in a league where most young players aspire to score in bunches.
“For me it starts on the defensive end, just bringing that energy and accepting that challenge every night,” said Posey, who signed a two-year, $7 million deal. “That’s what I take pride in, and from there that can rub off on teammates as well.”
Another thing the Celtics hope will rub off is Posey’s playoff experience. He wore his massive NBA championship ring this afternoon — “Obviously, from that weight on his hand, he has championship experience,” said Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca — which Posey earned in Miami in 2006. Ainge said the ring wasn’t a factor as much as the way Posey meshed on that team with superstars Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade.
“He plays hard and has that experience, and he knows what it takes,” Ainge said. “He’s played with good players. He knows how to find his spots, also. He’s good at slashing off the ball. You have to work for your shots when you play with great players like Shaq and Dwyane Wade.”
Now those names will be replaced by Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce. Posey goes from one contender to another, eager for a chance to add to his ring collection.
“There’s a great opportunity here,” Posey said. “You just feel it in the air with all the moves that were made this offseason, it’s a big step toward [a championship]. It just makes sense. I’m happy to be a part of it.”