Newest Boston Celtic Rasheed Wallace went to a Dorchester elementary school yesterday to talk about the importance of reading before going on a Duck Boat tour of the city.
Hall of Famer Sam Jones, who will be in Andover on Sunday night for the "The Night of Champions" event at The Wyndham to benefit the new emergency center at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, heard about Wallace's agenda.
"I like hearing that. Those are the kinds of things Celtics players do, helping the community," said Jones, from his St. Augustine, Fla., home.
As for the Duck Boats, Jones said Wallace should consider it a dry run for next June.
"The Celtics will the championship next year and Rasheed will be one of the big reasons," said the 66-year-old Jones. "I thought the Celtics were the best team last year. The injury to Kevin Garnett was the reason they lost.
"I met him in New York City at an event at a school in June. I was very impressed with him. He's very well spoken and he looks good. Adding Rasheed, it gives us one of the most versatile big men in the league. He can play so many positions. He's a heck of a rebounder. He can play down low. He plays great defense. He can shoot the three-pointer. As long as he doesn't go Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on us, he's really going to help this team."
Jones knows something about winning championships. He won 10 of them with the Celtics in 12 seasons. He was a two-time All-NBA second-teamer and played in five All-Star games.
"We won because we had the best player in the world, Bill Russell. And we had the best coach in the world, Red Auerbach," said Jones, a 6-foot-4 guard-forward who averaged 17.7 points per game. "Everything was about the team. We only cared about winning. We didn't care who scored the points."