Kelly Olynyk is a young multi-millionaire athlete living in Miami. There are worse lives to lead.
He’s in Miami because the Celtics had to renounce him to make room to sign Gordon Hayward this summer.
Some players would take offense at that and use it as motivation heading into the season, or into his “revenge game” which came Saturday when the Heat hosted the Celtics. Not Olynyk. One of the NBA’s most chill dudes had nothing but positive things to say about Brad Stevens and Boston when Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe asked him about it.
“I’ve always been good with Coach Stevens,” he said. “First and foremost, Coach Stevens is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in the world. Top to bottom. Good day, bad day. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, he’s an unbelievable human being. It doesn’t matter what situation is thrown at him, what the circumstances are, win, loss, he is one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever come across in my life.
“I talked to him the other day and there’s a lot of things I’ve learned in Boston and I’ve taken from Boston and from him that you don’t even really appreciate until you’re removed from it. You really realize, and I told him this, I can’t thank him enough for how much he instilled whatever it was, habits, work ethic, just a way of thinking and a way of being in life into me the last four years — especially being a young guy and being able to be molded.
“I think he was a key cog in my development. As much as you don’t see it at the time, when you’re removed, you appreciate everything that he does.”
Olynyk signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Heat and has been their sixth man, averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds a game, and being the glue of a solid second unit. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra loves the way he spaces the floor and makes the smart play when he gets the ball, helping create for others.
Olynyk is in too good a spot professionally and in life to hold a grudge.