"I think Boston is a real good fit for me," Christmas said. "They have Jason Terry, but they couldn't get Ray Allen back. I think I can fill that slot for these guys. Hopefully, [general manager] Mr. Danny Ainge and [coach] Doc Rivers like what they see from me and know that I'm just trying to compete on every play. I don't take plays off. Every guy that I've gone up against — MarShon Brooks, Lance Stephenson, Reggie Jackson — they're all great players and I've just tried to shut them down and play my hardest.
“This is all a big interview. Not only am I playing for Boston, but I'm playing for 29 other teams. Hopefully, teams see what I'm doing and take note and like what I'm doing."
The Celtics are certainly impressed. Through four games here, Christmas has averaged 10 points, 6.5 rebounds and has dished a team-high 16 assists. The only Celtic to play more minutes is Sullinger.
"I think he deserves to be in the NBA," said Boston's summer coach, Tyronn Lue. "I told him before we started camp that I know he is a great scorer, but teams want to see if you can defend, if you can make the right play or the right pass. I think down here he's done all that and he's rebounded the ball well, he's passed, he's guarded the other team's best player every game."
That is Christmas' plan, to impress with his overall game, not just for what he is known for — scoring.
"I've translated my game to try and be an all-around player," Christmas said. "Everybody knows I can score. I've been doing that for years. If I want to make a team like this, I mean, they have Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo and Jason Terry, so the scoring is pretty much filled up there. They need guys, young guys, to come in and play defense and fill up that defensive void. Some of those guys are getting older and can't chase all the young guys around all the time. Maybe that would be a job for me. I can come in and help on the defensive end, knock down some shots from Rondo in a pick-and-roll and things like that. I'm just trying to come out and show teams that I'm a whole lot more than just a scorer."
At 25, Christmas is not yet ready to move on with life after basketball. He will accompany the Boston contingent to Las Vegas for that summer league next week and hopes to get an invite to someone's training camp.
"In my head, I was back at Temple yesterday," Christmas said. "The time goes by fast, but I'm still chasing my dream. Ever since that day, June 25, 2009, when I didn't get drafted, this has been my main focus, to get into the NBA. That date is in my mind all the time. That day put my mindset in a different place. I've always got a chip on my shoulder because of that. Having that on my mind really helps me translate my game to what it is today. Last year, I had a pretty good season in Greece. I led the league in scoring, and guys were saying I had to change my game in different ways, because everybody knew I could score, but I had to do a better job of playing ‘D,' and I've gotten better at that. I've gotten better at handling the ball, at passing the ball. I'm just trying to do anything I can do to get into the NBA. Whether that's just playing defense 20 minutes or passing the ball or rebounding. I'll do anything just to get there.
“For sure, I belong in the NBA. No disrespect, but there's a lot of guys I see out there who I've played against, and I think I'm on the same level as those guys. It's just about being at the right place at the right time, and it just takes one person to like you. That's why every day, I don't care if there's three people in the gym, I'm going to go as hard as I possibly can, because one of those three people might be someone who likes me and helps me get where I want to go."
And that infamous date will help, too.
Something that should never happen did indeed occur in the Sixers-Orlando Magic game Thursday — double overtime. But it did and the Sixers fell, 77-75, to drop to 1-3 this week.
Clay Tucker led the Sixers with 15 points, while Devin Searcy collected 12 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Holiday scored 10 points and Lavoy Allen chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes.
Nikola Vucevic (Achilles'), Maurice Harkless (hip flexor) and Arnett Moultrie (ankle) were all sidelined with injuries.
Contact Bob Cooney at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage and opinion, read his blog at www.philly.com/Sixerville.