As for how Bradley will react tonight, Van Gundy said, "He'll be fine". "I don't know. I learned so much from this city. I ended up with a great situation and a great organization, so I'm happy, and (the Celtics are) playing well". Those guys got to see me grow up from a 19-year-old to a 26-year-old. So I know it'll just be another game.
With Bradley in the mix, the Pistons are 12-6 on the season - their best start in a decade.
Reggie Jackson has been consistent against the Celtics, totaling 15.9 points and 5.6 assists per game in 14 career games.
Though Bradley was part of teams that were either past their prime or not ready for the big moment, fans will always appreciate what he brought to the floor every night. Seeing some of my old teammates and stuff, I think that will be nice, but it's just going to be a game.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy says that Bradley is the type of player that he'd like to have "10 or 12 of".
We can just picture Bradley sitting there with his phone on Airplane Mode, perfectly content to sit through his flight with no internet connection, before a passenger noticed he was a professional athlete who might have enough money to splurge on WiFi. Every game for me is the same.
Before meeting the Boston Celtics for the first time as an opponent, Avery Bradley recalled the "nerve-wracking" day the team traded him this summer. "Instantly I knew that there could be something that could happen with me or a few other guys on the team. Guys are still going to be who they are in their basic personality, but I think incrementally everybody steps it up a notch when they see a guy like that". As expected, he is quietly playing it off as if it's just another game.
"(Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) basically told me that they were looking to pursue Gordon", Bradley explained. "Every game is the same". I'm going to go out there and play as hard as I can and give my all.
With that being said, Bradley is grateful to get the opportunity to play in front of Celtics Nation again, regardless of the team he's representing. "I feel like every step in your life is to help you get to the person you're supposed to be, or, in this case the basketball player I want to be. So I just look at all those experiences that I had and I'm thankful for them". Irving put up some truly ridiculous shooting numbers in Cleveland's five-game Eastern Conference finals win over Boston last summer, hitting over 60 percent of his shots, but Bradley made him work on a lot of them.
"I think (Thomas) understands it's a business as well, but we're two different people", Bradley said Sunday, via the Detroit Free Press. And it will forever be his second home.