Pressey looks to make his own name with Celtics

Pressey looks to make his own name with Celtics
August 14, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Like the sons of past NBA players, Boston Celtics guard Phil Pressey is intent on making a name for himself.

But having grown up around the game, Pressey knows part of the process of becoming a better NBA player is becoming a willing pupil. That's why the many words of wisdom passed along to him from his father Paul did not fall upon deaf ears.

And while the younger Pressey's talent certainly was the key to him being signed by the Celtics this summer, lessons from his father played their role as well.

"He knows what it takes to play at this level," the younger Pressey said of his father Paul, an 11-year NBA veteran and former Celtics assistant coach (2004-2006). "He gives me insights on what he saw throughout his years."

And those words are just part of the narrative that has taken Phil Pressey from the disappointment of not being drafted last June, to potentially being in the Celtics rotation -- possibly as a starter -- this season depending on when Rajon Rondo returns from his torn ACL suffered in January.

Paul Pressey knows there will be a lot thrown at his son quickly, and that Phil won't have a lot of time to digest it all.

However, the elder Pressey contends that the trials and tribulations that his son has endured have prepared him for this moment, this opportunity.

"Him being around basketball all his life, this is second nature to him," Paul Pressey told "The biggest thing for him is making the adjustment to what the NBA is all about."

Players often talk about being committed to the game while coaches speak of the need for players to be consistent.

More than either of those factors, a player needs an opportunity to play, which is exactly what Pressey will have with the Celtics.

While the C's are hopeful that Rondo will be back in time for the start of the season, a more likely scenario won't see the four-time All-Star back on the floor until sometime in December.

Rondo's torn right ACL injury occurred on Jan. 25 against Atlanta and wasn't detected until two days later. The surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, was not done until Feb. 14.

Most recoveries from torn ACL injuries take about nine months or longer. An optimistic outlook would put Rondo's return sometime in the middle of November.

Considering how cautious the Celtics have been in the past with players returning from major injuries, it would come as no surprise if they had Rondo spend a couple extra weeks to work on his conditioning without playing in games.

Plus the C's schedule in December consists of 12 games, nine of which are at the TD Garden. A chance for Rondo to get back on the floor with limited travel has to be appealing as well.

However long Rondo is off the floor, the 5-foot-11 Pressey will have an opportunity to establish himself as a player in this league.

But with that opportunity, the elder Pressey cautions, there has to be an understanding that some of the things that worked in college will not translate at the next level.

"The game is full of more talent," the elder Pressey has told his son. "'You're not the fastest. You're not the only one that's skilled. Everybody on the floor has skill. They got speed, they got size. So you have to make adjustments, too.'

Paul Pressey added, "He's smart enough to figure that out. It's just gonna take time on the floor at this level to figure it out."

And while Phil Pressey said he plans to learn all he can from Rondo, he knows Rondo's injury will afford him a chance to compete for playing time from Day One which is rare for an undrafted rookie.

"When you have that opportunity, you can't go wrong with it," Phil Pressey said. "You have an opportunity to prove yourself and show the GM and coaches, you want to play for the team. You can't ask for anything else."