The Boston Celtics made some new introductions on Tuesday, July 12. Both Malcolm Brogdon, who the Celtics traded for, and Danilo Gallinari, who Boston signed in free agency, spoke to the media for the first time as members of the team.
Gallinari was signed using Boston’s full taxpayer MLE, meaning he’ll be on the books for two seasons at roughly $6.5 million per season. During his first press conference as a Celtic, Gallinari took some time to talk about Boston’s star players.
The Italian forward discussed the opportunity he will have to play with both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He complimented them for what they have been able to accomplish in their careers thus far and said that his goal is to help them take the next step.
“They are great players. They’ve already won a lot and at a high level. I want to help us take the next step,” Gallinari explained.
In addition, he went into further detail in regard to what he will be able to bring to the team.
Gallinari Explains His Skillset
Aside from simply discussing his goals, Gallinari went into detail regarding what exactly he brings to the table on the court. The veteran forward said that his versatility should allow him to fit into Boston’s system well.
“I’m a pretty versatile player. I’ve played in a lot of systems and there are a lot things I can do well. I think I can really fit in here and help the team win,” Gallinari explained.
This past season, Gallinari appeared in 66 games for the Hawks, starting just 18 of them. In those games, Gallinari averaged 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 43.4% shooting from the field and 38.1% shooting from behind the three-point line.
At 33 years old, Gallinari is entering the latter stages of his career. During his press conference, he stated that his main focus at this point in his career is to win a championship.
“Winning a championship is a constant thought for me at this point in my career,” said Gallinari.
Simultaneously, he urged the Celtics not to make the same mistakes as the Atlanta Hawks did after their run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Apparently, some members of the Hawks organization were complacent, but Gallinari was (and is) completely against that mindset.
“I said ‘No. We need to win now. You have to do it now.’ You never know when you’ll get the opportunity again,” explained Gallinari.
Winning a title is very important to Gallinari, and winning one in Boston would be all the more special.
Gallinari’s Connection to Celtics
During his press conference, Gallinari revealed that his father was a huge Celtics fan. He grew up knowing about the Celtics and said that getting the chance to play in Boston is a special opportunity for him.
“I grew up with my dad, since I was a little kid, being a Celtics family. Huge Larry Bird fan. So, when the Celtics came on the table, it was almost like a no-brainer,” Gallinari revealed.
Gallinari’s childhood connection to the Celtics should make his time in Boston even more fun to watch.