BOSTON - They call him Curly.
Thats one of the first things we learned about Nenad Krstic after he was traded to the Boston Celtics from the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.
Curly. Hmm . . .
After playing his first game at the TD Garden on Wednesday, Krstic shed light on the moniker and also shared two other things you should know about the Celtics big man.
I said, Kur-Lay
The nickname Curly has nothing to do with Krstics physical appearance. It doesnt have to do with a character on The Three Stooges, either. It all started with a mispronunciation by his now-assistant coach.
Its thanks to coach Lawrence Frank, he explained to CSNNE.com. He was my coach for four years in New Jersey. I didnt speak any English, and he texted me like, Do you have any nicknames you like to be called? I said, Krle pronounced kur-lay. Back home, its short for Krstic. Thats how we give nicknames. He couldnt say it, Krle, and he started saying, Curly, Curly, Curly. I dont really like calling me Curly, but I dont really care. I stopped caring when I told him so many times, Its not Curly, its Krle, but he couldnt say it for some reason. KG calls me Kris. He said hes not going to call me Curly because its something soft. (Pause, laughs) I like Curly too. I dont care.
Thumbs Up for Posting Up
Krstic has earned praise for his ability to spread the floor. At seven-feet tall, he has a mid-range jumper that poses challenges for the opposing team to defend. His favorite thing to do on the court, though, happens closer to the basket.
My favorite is posting up, having a good post up, he said. Thats something thats tough to do, and not a lot of players can post up and having a posting game. Im really working on that. When I have a good post up and score, I feel good about myself.
Theres Still No Place Like Home
It has been nine years since Krstic was drafted by the Nets in 2002. But even after all this time in the NBA, Krstic still misses his native Serbia.
Its my seventh season here but Im still homesick, said Krstic, who also played overseas. I like my country. I miss everything - I miss my friends, I miss my family, Serbian food. Its a lot of meat. My favorite is lamb, but prepared in a Serbian way. You put the whole lamb actually on a grill. Its five hours just turning around. You put beer on it and its great. I think its called roasted lamb, I dont know the name in English. In the summer time, thats my favorite.
Krstic scored 13 points in 21 minutes against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. He is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds in his first three games with the Celtics.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA