By: Matthew Lavoie
Last Thursday night, the Celtics hosted their Official Draft Party at the TD Garden for season ticket-holders and members of the media. The stage was set for a suspenseful evening as the Celtics owned the 6th and 17th picks in the first-round of the Draft.
El Mundo Boston Director of Digital Media, Elvis Jocol Lara, and myself, both diehard Celtics fans, were in attendance to provide behind the scenes coverage of the event.
With Celtics bow-ties around our necks, we made our way into the Garden to bring you access that no other media outlet in the market brings you. Relive the night with us and check out all the best sights and sounds below.
El Mundo Boston welcomes you to the 2014 Boston Celtics NBA Draft Party:
The hub of the party was on the main floor, in the space that is typically occupied by the Celtics’ famed parquet floor. Getting onto the main floor was a surreal experience for Elvis and I, as we entered through the same tunnel that we’d seen our favorite Celtics players run through for years.
Once we stepped onto the floor, we took a minute to admire the frills and decorations. The event was elegantly decked out in all things green ranging from tablecloths to balloons. The team’s championship banners were also lowered from the rafters to celebrate the occasion.
The front rows of seats had been removed to make room for the catering stations that lined the perimeter of the floor. Tables and chairs were spaced evenly around the floor for Celtics fans to conjecture what the team may do with its picks while they munched on hors d’oeuvres.
The party was a veritable who’s who of Celtics personalities, and in true El Mundo Boston fashion, we secured the some of the best interviews to bring you the best insights and personalities throughout the night.
With rampant speculation over what the Celtics would do with their draft picks, we decided we’d ask some Celtics insiders what they thought would unfold.
Elvis interviewed CSNNE’s premier Celtics insider A. Sherrod Blakely, who shared his prediction for the Draft with El Mundo Boston:
I then interviewed another CSNNE Celtics insider, Tim Welsh, and asked who he thought the Celtics would go after in the Draft:
After the Tim Welsh interview, we ran into Marina Ortega, Head of the Celtics Dancers and a proud Latina, who also kindly obliged to an interview request:
With the Draft about to start, we settled into our seats, to watch it live on the Jumbotron. The first two picks went as expected, as Cleveland drafted Andrew Wiggins and Milwaukee selected Jabari Parker.
Philadelphia chose next and drafted Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid. There was a collective gasp in the Garden when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced this pick. Many Celtics fans and insiders alike had expected him to be drafted by the Celtics.
Next, the Orlando Magic drafted freshman forward Aaron Gordon out of Arizona. This was another player many experts thought could likely land with the Celtics. With the 5th pick in the Draft, the Utah Jazz chose Australian point guard Dante Exum.
It was now time for the 6th pick and the Celtics were on the clock. With Embiid and Gordon off the board, it was anyone’s guess who the Celtics would draft. We caught the fans’ live reaction to the Celtics’ selection:
The Celtics were fortunate to get Oklahoma State combo guard Marcus Smart at # 6. Smart is a talented player who will contribute immediately and had been on the Celtics radar for quite some time. I had mentioned him as a possibility for the pick in my ‘NBA Draft Preview’ article.
With their 17th pick, the Celtics chose Kentucky guard/forward James Young. Young will add a much-needed perimeter threat for the team. As was the case with Smart, his selection was met by loud approval from all the fans in attendance.
Following the pick, we headed back down to the floor where Celtics head coach Brad Stevens spoke to fans and media in attendance about his two new players and the passion of Boston fans:
After Stevens’ speech, fans started heading towards the exits as the event drew to a close. The evening wasn’t yet over for us, however, as the media was invited to the Celtics’ official press room for further interviews.
We walked off the main floor through a tunnel reserved only for Celtics personnel and members of the media. The tunnel led to a hallway lined with framed historic Celtics photos.
We then made our way into the press room where Brad Stevens addressed the media.
Stevens fielded questions from the media and provided additional insight about the team’s new players, stating that he was pleased the team was able to draft two players they had ranked in their top 11 in the entire Draft.
After Stevens’ interview concluded, we walked back out into the hallway. Thirty yards down the hallway we spotted a familiar face on a 6”10 frame: former Celtics fan favorite player and current assistant coach Walter McCarty. McCarty gladly accepted our request for an interview:
After getting our pictures taken with Walter, we headed back towards the main floor to exit. At this point, we ran into Celtics’ sideline reporter Abby Chin, who had a special message for El Mundo Boston and Latino Celtics fans:
And so finished a great day for the Boston Celtics and El Mundo Boston.
You can follow El Mundo Boston’s coverage of the 2014-2015 Boston Celtics all season long in print in El Mundo Newspaper, on social media through the El Mundo Boston Facebook fan page, and right here on ElMundoBoston.com.