PHOENIX — Peyton Manning retired from the NFL after the 2015 season, and he probably does not miss being hit by 240-pound linebackers, but there are other parts of competition that might have been harder to give up. On Monday in Denver, Manning joined the Celtics as they reviewed film to prepare for their game against the Nuggets that night.
Celtics assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry said that even though Manning did not fully grasp what he was watching, it was clear how much he enjoyed being back in that competitive environment.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Manning, with a smile: “He’s one of the better film watchers I’ve ever been around.”
Manning and Stevens have been friends since Manning played for the Colts and Stevens coached at Butler University.
Manning also addressed the Celtics as a group on Monday. Shrewsberry said he told the team about how important it was for him to grow and learn from playoff losses prior to eventually winning a Super Bowl in 2006. Also, he told them that they should cherish their bond as a team—the road trips, the intense games, the camaraderie — because nothing can really replace it.
“It’s great, man,” Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving said of Manning’s visit. “He’s a championship winner, unbelievable preparer of the game. He was doing it for so long, thinking about the injuries he had to endure. It was great to see him just come and talk to your team, being in Denver and just having an echelon of greatness coming and talking, there’s nothing like it.”
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.