Joel Anthony on joining C's: 'Weird at first'

Joel Anthony on joining C's: 'Weird at first'
January 18, 2014, 5:00 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. — There's an unmistakeable disdain for another team and its players that arises out of years of winner-take-all, playoff battles.

That was in part why several Boston Celtics players were bothered by Ray Allen's decision to leave the Green Team and join the Miami Heat two years ago.

Former Miami Heat (now Boston Celtic) center Joel Anthony isn't going to generate anything remotely close to the emotional vitriol that came out after Allen's decision.

But even he admits going from rivals to teammates takes a little getting used to.

"It's different," said Anthony, acquired by the Celtics in a three-team deal which sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to Golden State.

Anthony said it didn't really sink in how different things were until he walked on to the floor prior to Boston's 107-104 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

"That's what really hit me, that I was here," said Anthony who did not play (coaches decision) on Friday. "I'm in front of all these fans. This is now my home team."

The adjustment period requires forging friendships with not-so-long ago foes like Rajon Rondo who saw his first action of the season on Friday following a torn right ACL injury on Jan. 25.

"After all the battles with Boston, obviously Rondo being such a big key to that, it was a little weird at first," Anthony acknowledged. "But he welcomed me just like he would any other teammate. It makes it easier. Obviously he's a great leader. I can see that in the short time that I've been here."

But he can also get under the skin of opponents, something Anthony in his days with the Heat can attest to.

"He's the type of guy that you can tell you hate to play against him, love to play with him," Anthony said. "He's such a tough competitor. He makes the guys around him so much better. To be on the same team with him like now, it's exciting."