Olynyk getting to know fans, city before season

Olynyk getting to know fans, city before season
September 19, 2013, 5:00 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON — Kelly Olynyk was drenched earlier this summer on water rides at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire along with 30 or so kids who were there on a field trip.

That day he tasted fried dough for the first time.

Olynyk has also been able to catch a couple of Red Sox games at Fenway Park.

And on Thursday afternoon the Boston Celtics rookie continued to immerse himself in all that is New England with a trip on the T train that not surprisingly, was running on the Green Line.

Olynyk rode the MBTA Green Line from Kenmore Station to the North Station which is just a few steps away from the home of the Boston Celtics, the TD Garden.

"Time flies when you're on the T," Olynyk said.

While the ride by Olynyk was done in part to encourage the use of public transportation in general as well as for attending Celtics games, it also served as yet another opportunity for the 7-footer to connect with the people.

As passengers boarded the T train, Olynyk didn't hesitate to sign t-shirts or pose for pictures when asked.

"It's always great to give back and it's always great to get out and interact with fans, interact with the people of Boston, because they are what makes us run," Olynyk said. "Their support, their love for the game, their love for us, really helps us and pushes us as hard as we can."

And while it's clear that Olynyk seems to embrace the idea of connecting with the community, there's a little something in it for him as well.

"And also being new to the city," Olynyk said, "it's nice to get out and learn my way with people like Rich (Davey, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary who like Olynyk, is a Gonzaga graduate) here to show me the ropes."

Olynyk added: "They (the people of Boston) have really embraced me. It's a great place and I'm happy to be here."

While these feel-good moments are well and good, Olynyk hasn't lost sight of why he's here which is to help the Celtics win games.

By trading away Kevin Garnett along with Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn, there are plenty of holes in the Celtics roster needing to be filled.

And Olynyk, who had a strong showing for the Celtics during summer league, it provides an opportunity to play his way into a prominent role this season will indeed be made available.

However, Olynyk's offseason workouts have been slowed down some by a plantar fasciitis injury that he said on Thursday is improving.

He has been able to spend some time with a few of the Celtics veterans, many of whom are in town with training camp starting October 1.

"It's great to meet guys who have been there before," Olynyk said. "You can learn a lot from those guys."

And their return not only signals the start of the season coming, but that the opportunities to build relationships in the community won't be as plentiful, either.

Olynyk loves the time he spends with fans, but he's pretty pumped about his rookie season, too.

"Basketball is what you love to do," he said. "So you're excited to play basketball as well."