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According to Jay King at Mass Live, Phil Pressey looked far from the physical type in middle school that would someday be wearing an NBA uniform:
A former senior director of basketball operations for the Celtics, Leo Papile has known Pressey since he stood about 5-feet tall and couldn’t have weighed more than 100 or 120 pounds. Just a middle schooler, Pressey would walk into practices with his father, Paul, a Celtics assistant, and he would spark up games against his brother, Matt, Doc Rivers’ sons and Papile’s daughter, all of whom played or will play Division 1 hoops.

As Papile recalls, Pressey would orchestrate some type of competition wherever he went.

“He had this basketball, and he always had it with him," Papile said during a phone conversation Monday. "It was like it was stuck to his hand, he never left home without it.”

At the time, Pressey wore his hair in braids. If his body could have screamed, it would have asked for directions to the weight room. He looked nothing like a future NBA player.

“But everybody knew. Even the Celtics players knew,” Papile said. “‘That little dude,’ they would say. ‘He’s alright.’”

Although, Pressey still needs a lot of work on his shot and some other facets of his game there's no questioning his basketball IQ.

He averaged nearly eight assists per 36 mins last season. An even more telling statistic is he was 6-5 as the Boston Celtic starting point guard:
Pressey stepped in, played in 75 games, made 11 starts, and racked up a 6-5 record as a starter. He shot just 31 percent from the floor, but managed an assist-to-turnover ratio of almost 3-to-1 – very good for any point guard, never mind an undrafted rookie who loves to thread the needle. By limiting mistakes and influencing games with his pesky defense, Pressey eased some of the concerns scouts echoed when he left Missouri one year early.

However, even with all his success, the gym rat in Pressey is still very much a part of his being:
Head coach Brad Stevens recently singled out the point guard, calling him "as hard a worker as we have on our team."

"In fact, I think he sets the bar for most everyone else with regard to how often he's in the gym, how much he's worked on his game," Stevens said. "That really shows itself. That’s a great thing, when all these young (summer league players) come in, to know a guy is coming back at 10:30 at night. Are you going with him?”

Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey

Clint Corey 7/16/2014 04:35:00 PM Edit
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