With Danny Ainge calling up players from the D-League, Celtics Hub talked to members of the Celtics D-League affiliate, Maine Red Claws, to get their take on the team and how they could contribute at the next level. This is the first of three posts.
If you remember Chris Babb, you likely remember him from this pre-season game. Babb dumped in four 3-pointers in the final eight minutes, nearly leading the Celtics back for the win. Now a forward for the Maine Red Claws, Babb was gracious enough to take a few minutes to talk to Celtics Hub before Thursday’s game against the Iowa Energy.
Celtics Hub: Are you aware that you are kind of a folk hero on Celtics Twitter?
Chris Babb: (Laughs) Not really, I mean I knew I had a little buzz after I had that game.
CH: Search your name on Twitter sometime. It’ll be worth it.
Babb: Alright, sounds good.
CH: The team wanted to keep you, but they couldn’t because of the salary cap, right?
Babb: I came down to the last day. They kept me as long as they could. I guess it was just kind of a salary cap issue. So, you know, I’m just down here trying to work my way back up. Staying patient.
CH: But they wanted to keep you around?
Babb: They told me they wanted me to be here. They didn’t want me to go to a different reason. They wanted to keep me here hopefully for a reason. Hopefully it will work out.”
CH: Do you still keep in contact with any of the guys?
Babb: I knew Phil Pressey from the Dallas area. I played against him a couple times in the Big 12. Me and Kelly Olynyk have the same agent. I was pretty cool with those guys before I knew I was going to Boston. It was cool to be around those guys. We talk every once in a while, since we’ve gone up to Boston a couple times.
CH: Most recently, you were in Boston to play Rondo. What was it like facing him?
Babb: He was on my team actually.
CH: Nice, what were the teams?
Babb: Basically our starting five, me Rondo, Chris Wright, Frank Gaines and Ty Walker. [Rondo] was good. Playing with a guy like that, a point guard is always going to make the team better. He played like Rondo, getting in the paint, using ball screens, kicking it, throwing lobs, getting guys open. He’s starting to knock down that shot, pull up and knock down open threes. I think that’s something that he used his time wisely while he was injured, coming back and being able to knock down jump shots.
CH: You’ve been known to knock down some jumpers yourself. At the start of a game, do you kind of know when you are going to shoot well?
Babb: The thing about shooters, and I’m kind of realizing it as the season goes on, the game doesn’t really revolve or go through us. We just kind of get our shots when we get our shots. So you know, it can be tough when you see shooters not shooting well, it’s not because they are bad shooters, it’s because its hard to get in a rhythm. Some times you might get 10 shots, some games you might get 3. It just kinda depends on the flow of the game. It’s good when you get those first couple going, guys start looking for you, you might get a play or two ran for you. It’s just kind of hit or miss.
CH: Thoughts on your first year in the D-League so far?
Babb: It is what it is. It’s not luxurious or glamorous as the NBA, but it’s great competition, the games are great, you are playing against pros and upcoming guys night in or night out. I don’t have any complaints about it. Guys are using this as a stepping stone to where they want to be. That adds that competitive edge.”
CH: Danny Ainge has been calling up some D-Leaguers. Is that a thing you kind of keep an eye on, or not so much?
Babb: I try not to. The thing about this, it’s not a personal business. It’s just about business, money and building the best team. If they feel they need those players they are calling up right now. All I can do is just respect it and continue to do what I do. Obviously, can’t get down on it or worry about it. I’m just going to continue to play and hope for this.
CH: Tonight’s a homecoming for you of sorts. What’s it like to be back?
I love it. This is probably one of my best decisions basketball wise to come to Iowa State. They love me out here, and I love it. There’s always some welcome. We had a game here a couple weeks ago, and a lot of cyclone fans were in the building. They were in here last time, hopefully they’ll come out again (ed. note: Babb got one of the biggest ovations of the evening when he was introduced). It’s good to see a couple teammates, and [Iowa State] Coach [Fred] Hoiberg. It’s definitely good to be back.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.