BOSTON – Malcolm Brogden and Danilo Galinari are both in love with the Boston Celtics.
As a child in Italy, Galinari was a fan of Larry Bird. And when the New York Knicks drafted it in 2008, he remembers seeing the Hall of Fame highlights every day on a disc given to him by then-general manager Donnie Walsh.
“Larry Bird is a legend, so it’s not easy to do the stuff he’s doing,” Galinari said Tuesday. “But I used to watch that tape every day.”
Brogdon also remembers being a staunch devotee of Bill Russell and Red Orbach, immersed in the green and white stories of his late grandfather.
Now years later, and with several stops around the league, Galinari and Brogden – Boston’s top two extras in the off-season – are appealing to the Celtics in this latest incarnation to help them get back to the championship status they lost last season. Do it In the finals, it was Golden State.
“When the Celtics came to the table, they were almost no-brainer,” Galinari said. “You look around and see what’s going on – banners, history and everything about the Celtics. It was an easy choice.”
The Giants also know what it’s like to reach the top of the NBA Championship.
Brogdon was drafted by Milwaukee, and Bucks spent his first three years there before trading in 2021 to win the championship.
Galinari worked on five different teams before helping to surprise Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 before falling to Milwaukee in 2021.
“For me, I’m in my prime. I’m 29,” said Brogden, who was traded to Indiana a few hours after the free agency started. “I experienced winning at a high level in my first three years in Milwaukee. I went to Indiana, had a great season and then two hard seasons. So I wanted to go to this level again. To be able to compete with the kids who want to win the championship and the kids who want to sacrifice to win.
That includes Brogdon, who scored team-high 19.1 points last season with 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists. He said he was looking forward to taking on the less educated role of state defensive player, Celtics starting point guard Marcus Smart as the best player of the year.
Boston’s post-season race at times made it clear that it lacked traditional playmaking point guards, and Brad Stevens, president of Celtics’ basketball operations, preferred free-time between agency – as well as bench. Asked for help in which there was no consistency scoring Jason Tatum is interrupting the core of his Jaylene Brown and Smart.
“I want to come here and I want to connect – my skills, my ability to play, my ability to play ball when kids like Brown and Tatum have the ball,” Brogden said. “And being able to read the game, be able to close the game, make good decisions and really save one to four can be the team’s assets.”
Galinari, who turns 34 this coming season, said the reserve role in Atlanta over the past two seasons has helped him reach a point in his career where he is not at the center.
“At that point in my career, I had decided to accept,” Galinery said. “It’s something you have to adapt to and you have to be pro. And you have to do whatever you want to do.”