It’s already time for my next blog entry. The last few weeks have really been a roller-coaster ride. A lot of things happened, and not all of it was positive.
Kobe’s helicopter crash on Jan. 26 was such a massive shock for me, and at first, I couldn’t believe it at all. We were in New Orleans at that time, and I took my nap as always on game day. When I woke up, I saw a message from my wife that Kobe Bryant had died. I jumped up immediately because I wasn’t able to grasp it and thought I might have misread.
But sadly it was the truth, and at that point, the news was everywhere. Being a dad and family man, it shocked me so much, especially the fact that his daughter was with him, because she shared his love for basketball. I can’t fathom the feeling and don’t want to, either.
The hardest thing was that we had to play on the same night against the Pelicans. The NBA didn’t cancel any games because the schedule is so tightly constructed that it wasn’t possible, but it really wasn’t easy. The mood in the locker room was heavy as well. Nobody talked, and everybody just tried to cope with the news. It was especially hard for Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward because both knew Kobe personally and had worked out with him.
Especially after such traumatic events, I realized what a gift life is and how thankful I am to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA.
Ahead of the trade deadline, there were some rumors, which didn’t leave me totally unbothered. My agent called me and talked to me about it. It was a strange feeling to read your own name in that regard because in the NBA you can never be sure, and everything can happen so fast. You obviously still hope that it doesn’t affect you in the end.
I was very glad to be able to stay in Boston, and I like that the whole team stayed together. Now we can focus on the rest of the season and the pursuit of a championship.
The All-Star break came at the right point in time. I was able to relax and take some days off. We decided not to travel this time because there was a long road trip ahead immediately after the break. So we stayed at home, and I was glad to be able to be with my family and sleep in my own bed.
My body was able to take a break as well. I got treatment for my knee, got some massages and got in some weight lifting. The break was great, and now I feel ready for the next few weeks. I’m also already looking forward to the playoffs, even though April is still far away!
After the All-Star break, you obviously want to start as strong as possible. In my first game out, I unfortunately started badly, which is why Brad Stevens took me out pretty quickly. I realized that I had to bring more energy. But even I didn’t expect to get two career highs in one game (Theis scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds vs. Minnesota on Feb. 21).
Maybe that happened because my daughter Laila tried to motivate me before the game. She wanted 100 points! I wasn’t quite able to do that, but we set our goals at 11 points and 11 rebounds before the game. It was great that I was able to exceed both.
I think the talks with Laila will be part of my game day routine from now on!
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