The Boston Celtics will spend nearly a full week overseas at the start of October as part of the NBA Live Europe 2012 series, but if coach Doc Rivers had his druthers, it would have been an extended European vacation.
Unlike the team's chemistry-forming trip in 2007 -- coming off a summer that brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Boston -- the Celtics will hold a few days of training camp stateside this year before trekking to Istanbul and Milan for a pair of games to kick off their exhibition slate.
"I'm looking forward to it," Rivers said Tuesday at the team's golf tournament at The International. "I really wanted to, actually, go the first day after Media Day [on Friday]. We just couldn't do it for whatever reason. But I can't wait to go."
For Rivers, there's some uneasiness about splitting up training camp while making the trek across the Atlantic, but he believes the trip will almost certainly be a good thing for his squad.
"I haven't done it this way. The way we did it in [Rome and] London, we went right away, and we had camp over there. And I thought that was terrific," said Rivers. "This way, where you kind of cut up your camp, I'm not a big fan of that. But I do think it will have something. It'll be good for us. I just think when you're traveling together like this overseas, it's always pretty good."
Rivers still has a picture of the team outside the Colosseum (like the one above) from the 2007 trip hanging in his office. Players credited that trip with aiding how quickly the 2007-08 team forged its Ubuntu bond, which culminated later with Boston's 17th world title.
Once again I agree with everything that Doc is saying. The overseas trip will be great for team bonding. Too bad they can't leave Friday night or Saturday morning. Would be awesome if the powers that be read Doc's comments and altered the itinerary today and we find out the team is going straight to the airport after tomorrow's media day. Regardless, I expect this trip to make this Celtics team even tighter than they already appear to be.
On a side note, this trip is also exciting for our Celtics fans overseas. Many will get a once in a life opportunity to see Rondo, Pierce, KG, Doc, and the Celtics live and in person. If you plan on attending these games, please feel free to check in on the site and share any pictures or videos you might take.