Ephs' Crotty feeling green

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That's because Crotty, who was a standout guard at Williams during his playing career, is in the middle of his second season as the director of player development with the NBA's Boston Celtics.

"I talk (daily) with (former Eph teammates) Chuck Abba and Ben Coffin, who both live around here," said Crotty. "Everyone's doing well. I could be making more money doing other things, but the opportunity I have here, as well as some of the really fun stuff I get to do day-to-day, they won't let me complain. Not that I do."

For a kid who grew up loving the Celtics, it doesn't get much better than working for the team.

Crotty joined the Celtics last season after traveling Europe as an opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters and playing with a German pro team.

He was one of the best point guards to ever play at Williams. In his four years, Crotty started 120 games, every game of his career. He holds the record for career assists (819) and single-season assists (249). He scored 1,402 points, ranking him seventh on the all-time list at Williams. And Crotty helped lead the Ephs to the NCAA Division 3 championship in 2003.

As director of player development, Crotty's primary task has been to help the younger members of the Celtics adjust to life in the NBA and life on their own. In Crotty's first season with the Celtics, there were four rookies and four first-year players listed in the team's media guide. He said he's gotten more comfortable with the Celtics and with his job — a job that has grown with his tenure.

"I'm at every practice and have a (bigger) role in practice than I did. I'm not a coach. I'm not labeled as a coach, but I do more," Crotty said. "I'll be out on the floor before the game. I'm helping give some individual workouts in the summer and the fall, when the coaching staff is not around. That part has grown, the on-court role, which is fun because basketball has been a big part of my life."

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Crotty doesn't get to sit on the bench with head coach Doc Rivers and the staff, but the ex-Eph can be found on the court before the game, working with individual players. Prior to the start of a late-November home game against the New York Knicks, Crotty was making quick passes to Celtics' forward Brian Scalabrine, who was practicing his three-point shooting.

"I do like passing it to good redheaded shooters, that's true," said Crotty with a laugh, recalling former Eph teammate Abba.

Crotty said he's become more involved with the Celtics' community relations department, which goes hand-in-glove with what he's doing with player development. It is an effort, he added, to get some of the younger players out in the community and giving back to the fans.

"I've been seeing a little more of the business side and the basketball side, so my experience is growing in both of those areas," said Crotty. "I'm always looking for more, to try to expand and see the game and the organization from as many sides as I can."

As of right now, Crotty said he isn't certain where he wants to take his NBA career. He works for the basketball operations department under Danny Ainge, but he was non-committal when asked if he'd rather be Danny Ainge or Doc Rivers.

"I'm actually in between Danny and Doc — not only in theory, but also where my office is situated," Crotty said. "One's down at one end, and one's down at the other end."

Crotty said he loves being part of the Celtics' organization and that he wouldn't trade his job with some of his business-oriented classmates.

"They say 'I was here at six, I didn't get home until eight. I was in a meeting, I was looking at an Excel spreadsheet,' " he said. "I'm at practice, working with these guys, spending some time with them off the court, playing some pool and giving it to Paul Pierce on the pool table. Chuck calls it my '8-ball strategy for player development.'"


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