Sept. 30, 2002
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - 2002 St. Bonaventure graduate J.R. Bremer signed a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics in July. The two-year deal is, of course, contingent upon Bremer making the team. But, a check of the Celtics' web site (www.nba.com/celtics) shows #9: J.R. Bremer.
In July, Bremer completed a successful stint with the Celtics in the Shaw's Summer League in Boston. It was successful for him on two fronts. One: he was the Celtics' third-leading scorer at 12.0 points per game and he averaged 3.3 assists per game. Two: in the middle of the league schedule, the Celtics signed the undrafted rookie.
"It feels good ... I'm definitely happy," Bremer said following the deal. "It takes a lot of pressure off me, but at the same time adds pressure. I still have to make the team in training camp and everything. I'm happy to be settled, finally. It's a great situation."
Following the Celtics' late-summer trade that sent starting point guard Kenny Anderson to the Seattle Sonics for Vin Baker, Bremer is in a great position with the club. Bremer is now the only point guard listed on the Boston roster other than veteran Tony Delk.
During a Q&A session on the Celtics' web site, team general manager Chris Wallace addressed his club's point guard situation and how Bremer fits in.
"Currently we have 12 players under contract so unless something unforseeable happens, the current crop of guards we have will be the point guard rotation for the Celtics this year," Wallace said. "Bremer was undrafted out of St. Bonny's, but he's a good defender, can hit the three-pointer and was the fourth-leading scorer in the nation last year. He played for some of the best coaches."
Bremer blossomed at St. Bonaventure from a lightly-recruited, slightly-built jump shooter into a first team All-Atlantic 10 Conference and All-Region selection. He averaged 24.6 points per game as a senior and was named the A-10's Most Improved Player. Bremer is St. Bonaventure's career leader in three-pointers with 223.
In a recent Boston Herald story, Celtics coach Jim O'Brien evaluated Bremer's early-season performance.
"There are a number of reasons why he's important to our team and why we made a commitment (partially guaranteed contract with incentives) to him," said O'Brien. "We need to develop a point guard of the future. Shammond (Williams) is in his last year and hopefully we'd love to be able to have Shammond be a Celtic for a long time - but you never know in this situation. So we need to develop a young guy - not a project, but somebody that we think could go out there right this year early on in the season and look like he belongs. I think that's what you're going to see in JR. I hope and I believe that the NBA is going to scratch their head and wonder - especially those of us that had second round picks - what we were thinking when we passed on him. He's a great shooter and he can really defend. He's a great pickup for us."