Brad Stevens’ new role as president of the Boston Celtics has him performing all kinds of duties in a variety of exotic locales. On Saturday, for example, the self-proclaimed Masshole was on the other side of the Atlantic — in Belgrade, Serbia of all places.
The occasion: Partizan NIS’ Round 11 ABA League matchup with Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana. More specifically, the bout provided the fledgling exec with an opportunity to check in on Celtics draftee Yam Madar, who is currently suiting up for Partizan.
As relayed by Mozzart Sport, Stevens was snapped sitting courtside at Stark Arena for the game.
Although the Black-Whites ultimately fell short, losing to Olimpija 96-89, Madar put his best foot forward with Stevens in attendance. In 27 minutes of play, he dropped 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-3 from distance, and added four boards, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Madar Previously Had a Two-Way Opportunity With Boston
Madar — who was selected by the Celtics with the 47th overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft — recently joined Boston for Summer League play amid a contract dispute with his former club, Hapoel Tel Aviv. And he showed flashes of his potential during his visit to the US.
In three summer appearances with the Celtics, the Israeli floor general put up 4.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.7% from the floor. While that’s a relatively meager stat line, he made an impression on his coaches and teammates and had a handful of eye-raising highlights along the way.
At the conclusion of his summer stint, he had an opportunity to remain stateside on a two-way deal. Reports vary on why that did not occur; some have indicated that Madar turned the two-way spot down while others reported that his contract buyout with Hapoel was the issue.
In any case, the 20-year-old opted to sign a three-year pact with Partizan, as reported by Sportando. Nevertheless, Stevens spoke well of Madar and what the team had seen from him.
“He has a flair to his game and a skill that’s fun and I think he will continue to grow and be a good player,” Stevens said, via Boston.com.
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Madar Has Underwhelmed With Partizan
Madar had some referring to him as the “Euro Steph Curry” with his play in the Israeli league last season. Over 35 games across all competitions in 2020-21, Madar averaged 16.5 points, 5.1 assists and 1.2 steals per contest for Hapoel. For his efforts, he was an All-Israeli Basketball Premier League Second Team honoree.
Since joining Partizan, though, his game has largely lacked that level of sizzle.
In 15 combined games to date with the club, only five of which have been starts, he is averaging 6.9 points and 1.9 assists in 17.2 minutes per contest. Madar is still hitting the three at an impressive rate, though. After making 40.6% of his triples in ’20-21. he’s at 37.1% this season.