Dionte Christmas is the surprise standout player for the Celtics during the rookie leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas, and the talk is that the former Temple Owl just may get a training camp invite. That’s good news for Christmas, who would be something of a wild card at the shooting guard position. And yet even with a camp invite, the likelihood of Christmas scoring a roster spot with our Celtics is slim and none. But players are allowed to dream, and Christmas knows that an invite could potentially land him a spot on another NBA club out there.
I like the fact that Christmas has worked hard enough to even be in the conversation. Christmas averaged 12.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4 assists per game in Orlando, and his aggressive play has caught the eye of Danny Ainge, who has gushed over the guard’s play. And now it’s up to Christmas to close the summer league on a good note and focus on getting an NBA job.
“It’d be a great opportunity,” Christmas said, when the subject turned to playing in Boston. “You have guys like Paul Pierce and [Rajon] Rondo and Kevin Garnett, great vets. They know the game, and I could learn a lot from guys like Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, and coach Doc Rivers, great coach. So that would definitely be an honor for me to play with those guys.”
Christmas is a legit 6’5″ living the life of a fringe NBA prospect, not really knowing where he’ll be from one moment to the next. The Association is a fickle league, and like the weather, things can change suddenly. So while the Celtics like him now, the interest could wane without so much as a ‘thank you for your time.’ Christmas could just as easily find himself in Europe, playing for a team he knows nothing about. So, while encouraged by the Celtics’ interest, he knows he’s really trying out for every team in the league.
“I don’t know where my [summer league] performances puts me at on the food chain, but it’s tough, I mean, that’s the NBA, it’s a business,” Christmas said. “If the coaches and the GMs like me, then hopefully they can do something for me. But, again, I’m not only just playing for the Celtics, I’m on an interview for 29 other teams, so hopefully if I can’t get with the Celtics, I can get with somebody else.”
Spoken like a true NBA vagabond.