Bayless: 'I really want to make this my home'

Bayless: 'I really want to make this my home'
January 14, 2014, 12:15 am
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BOSTON — The Memphis Grizzlies had just crushed the Detroit Pistons in an afternoon matinee and Jerryd Bayless was feeling pretty good.

He had a solid game off the bench. The Grizzlies won. Life was good.

But there was a sense of uneasiness throughout the flight back to Memphis; that something was about to change.

By the time Bayless got home, he was once again on the move to another city.

"It's tough; it's tough," he told prior to Monday's loss to Houston. "It was a six-hour stretch from when I got traded to where I had to get on a plane and play in Denver."

He's hoping the inconvenience of the trade will conveniently position him for being with the Celtics beyond this season.

"I love the situation," said Bayless who will become a free agent this summer. "I love the opportunity. I told Brad (Stevens, Boston's head coach) and I told Danny (Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations) since I've been here, I really want to make this my home for a while. Hopefully I'll be able to do it."

Bayless certainly looked comfortable on Monday, scoring 15 of his 17 points off the bench in the fourth quarter of Boston's 104-92 loss to Houston.

It was the kind of instant-offense kind of performance that has made Bayless a player that Ainge and the Celtics have coveted for some time.

And while most have praised Bayless for his scoring, he showed a defensive side to his game that few at the TD Garden expected to see.

Trailing 86-71 in the fourth quarter, Bayless who is listed at 6-foot-3, was able to block the shot of Houston's Terrence Jones who stands 6-9.

Moments later, he drilled a jumper that was one of the many big shots he hit in the fourth quarter that gave the Celtics a fighting chance on a night when they dug themselves a 20-point deficit and went into the fourth down by nine.

Bayless said he felt he came into the NBA with a solid foundation defensively.

In his one season at Arizona, he played under Kevin O'Neill who was a former NBA head coach (Toronto) and assistant.

"One of the things about KO, he does as a coach, he will have you prepared on the defensive side of the ball," Bayless said. "So when I got into the league, I don't think I was that far off defensively with learning a lot of things. Most of the things that NBA teams run (defensively), Kevin O'Neill, he ran."

Stevens is still getting to know Bayless, but admits he is pleased with what he has seen thus far.

"I think he's fitting in well," Stevens said. "He's been embraced by our group; we haven't had any collective success since he's joined but the attitudes for the most part have been good and he's been accepted very well."

Bayless echoed similar sentiments about his time in Boston.

"The first couple games I was just trying to feel everybody out; I'm still continuing to do that in spots where I can get things going for myself and the team. Just trying to do that is my main focus."

And he hopes continuing to do that will provide him with something he has yet to achieve in his NBA career - security.

The 25-year-old is on to his fifth team in just five-plus seasons in the NBA.

"Would l like to find a home? Of course," he said. "I would love to be here for the rest of my career if I could and find some stability."

But he has seen enough change to know that in the NBA, regardless of how you perform or the type of contract you, any player can be moved at any time.

"If it was my first time, I think it would be tougher," Bayless said. "But I've been traded before. It happens. You have to deal with it. This is the life I wanted since I was young. You just have to roll with the punches and hope everything works out for you; that's all you can do."