He came out of the locker room holding two Nike shoe boxes with a pair of sneakers on top. His work for the week was done, and even though the Celtics’ 86-68 loss to the Nets left them 1-4 for the summer league, Luke Harangody felt good about what he accomplished in five games.
The Celtics’ second-round pick left Orlando with scouts and observers mentioning his name in the same breath as Jrue Holiday, Terrence Williams, Lance Stephenson, James Harden and Damion James as some of the best players in the summer league.
“I thought it was a very positive wsureek for myself,” Harangody said. “I felt like what I needed to do down here, I did.”
His numbers for each of the Celtics five games:
- OKC – 23 points, 9 of 13 shooting, 4 of 6 from 3 point range, four rebounds
- PHI – 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting, 6 of 6 free throws, 12 rebounds (four offensive)
- CHA – 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting, 2 of 4 from 3-point range, three rebounds
- IND – 16 points on 7 of 15 shooting, seven rebounds
- NJ – 18 points on 7 of 17 shooting, 2 of 4 from 3-point range, eight rebounds
“Even though I’m a four-year college player, I’m still young, and the best thing about this was I was picking up things every day, especially on the defensive end. It was as good week for me to learn a lot as well.”
He’s got a souvenir on his left eye courtesy of an elbow from Charlotte big man Alexis Ajinca. He said he knew beforehand how physical the NBA would be, but now he can look in the mirror if he needs a reminder.
“I knew what to expect,” Harangody said. “Coming in here, I knew it’s not going to be your regular game and it’s going to be physical like this, especially when you play five games in five days. But that’s the grind of it. So you’ve just got to put your head down and keep going every day.”
His shooting touch is what impressed most people. He showed an natural knack for scoring as well as the ability to shoot from long range.
“Everyone I talked to said they were surprised,” Harangody said. “I didn’t surprise myself. But that’s my goal coming down here – to prove the skeptics wrong. I still have a long way to go and there’s a lot of things I need to work on. But so far I think I’m off to a good start.”