White excited to wear green after stint in China

White excited to wear green after stint in China
February 28, 2013, 2:00 pm
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WALTHAM — D.J. White is finally wearing green.

The former OKlahoma City Thunder power forward, turned Charlotte Bobcat, turned Shanghai Shark is officially a member of the Boston Celtics - for at least 10 days.

Lacking size in the front court, Boston has searched high and low for a player who can come in and spell Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox. They'll try their luck with the 6-foot-9, 235-pound White.

"It's nice. It took a while to get my clearance papers, but finally got cleared, so I was happy to be able to join the guys on the court," White said Thursday before his first practice with the team.

"Very excited," he said of signing. "This organization has a rich tradition. Countless championships. So it's just an honor to be a part of the organization."

White does have some ties to players currently on the Celtics. He was teammates with Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox in OKC, and played college ball at Indiana with Jordan Crawford for one season.

While Green and Wilcox found the C's in a more traditional way, White had to make the decision to play in China before earning enough attention to warrant a contract.

"My whole mindset in China was just play my best and hope for an opportunity," he said.

The experience was certainly eye-opening. White was on the other side of the world surrounded by people and places he wasn't familiar with at all. You can imagine he stuck out a bit around those parts.

"It was OK. The Chinese basketball league is growing," he said. "It's getting better and better every year, so I think it was a good experience for me.

White is the second player this season the C's have snagged from China on a 10-day contract. Guard Terrence Williams is the other, and he didn't seem to be too fond of China. But White's reasoning for that makes it clearer why.

"It was a little different for me because I was in Shanghai. He was in Who-Knows-Where. So, Shanghai is kind of like New York City so to speak. Maybe a little bit bigger. So I didn't have any problem eating. It's just when I traveled, that's when I had a problem. So I adjusted pretty quickly."

But he had a close eye on the happenings around the NBA, hopping to be back soon. While games are usually being watched at night in America, White could enjoy his NBA along with a complete breakfast.

"I was following it every day, waking up," he said. "Every time I woke up in China I could watch a game. So I followed it very closely. Followed my friends, checked on their stats and whatnot. So I kept up with it.

Going away - even to one of the biggest cities in the world - makes returning home and to the NBA that much sweeter, though.

"Yeah I do [appreciate it more]," he said. "The travel, everything, it's just way better [in America]. But like I said it was a good experience for me."

And the hope is that his experience in Boston is even better.