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Garden Debut has New Vets Feeling Young Again

10.09.09 at 10:26 pm ET
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Marquis Daniels is entering his seventh NBA season, and he can’t help but feel like it’s his first.

Daniels made his debut as a member of the Celtics at the TD Garden on Friday night against the Knicks (recap here) Even though Daniels had played in Boston several times, this game felt different.

‘€œI’m very excited. I told the guys the other day, I’m like, ‘I feel like a rookie,’ ‘€ Daniels said before the game. ‘€œI’m very excited to be playing here. I’ve played in here on the other team and I knew there’d be a big difference. The fans play a big role and they’re great.’€

Daniels was one of five Celtics who played their first games on the parquet as a member of the home team. Rasheed Wallace, Michael Sweetney, Shelden Williams and rookie Lester Hudson also made their Celtics debuts.

‘€œComing here is just a great moment,’€ said Sweetney, who had not played in the NBA since the 2006-07 season. ‘€œComing in the building was like, wow. But coming into this locker room and the history and just being on this team is just amazing.’€

Newcomers such as Williams point to the Celtics’ deep tradition as something they have never experienced in the NBA. Williams has played for the Hawks, Timberwolves and Kings over the course of his career.

‘€œIt’s a great feeling,’€ he said. ‘€œI know it’s not the same gym as the Boston Garden, but there’s still a lot of history here and in the city wearing green. It’s still a great feeling to be part of history.’€

With the titles and electricity of the TD Garden come high expectations for the upcoming season.

‘€œI’ve never been on a team at the beginning of the season and everybody says, ‘We’re going to make the playoffs,’ ‘€ Sweetney said. ‘€œBut this team has won championships, so it’s a different feeling surrounding it.’€

This has Daniels looking forward to the feeling he has wearing a Celtics uniform.

‘€œ[The difference with the Celtics is] just knowing that we have a chance to be real special and we have a chance to do great things,’€ he said. ‘€œThere are a lot of great, hard-working guys, great veterans, great franchise, coaches and everything. It’s going to be a great situation.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Lester Hudson, Marquis Daniels, Michael Sweetney
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