BOSTON- The Boston Celtics got some surprise news as veteran guard Keyon Dooling announced his retirement today. After twelve years in the NBA, Dooling had enough and wanted to spend time with his family. The retirement by Dooling is a bit of surprise as he signed on only a couple of month ago in late July with the Celtics before suffering this change of heart.
Dooling had been banged up in his only season in a Boston Celtics uniform. Dooling suffered through hip problems and other leg injuries and as a result only posted limited action and four points a game when he did see the floor. Despite the injuries, Dooling did have some solid moments in Green. He had a few solid playoff games that helped the Celtics advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
However, despite Dooling’s lack of production on the floor, he was extremely important to the Celtics. Dooling was one of the biggest leaders in that locker room. Dooling pushed Rajon Rondo every day whether it was challenging him vocally or in practice to step up his game. The results of Dooling’s pushing could be seen in Rondo’s game as Rondo took another step in his development as leader thanks in large part to Dooling. Dooling was also key in the Celtics locker room chemistry. His teammates nick named him the “Reverend” for a reason.
However, do not think the Celtics will be looking to replace Dooling. The team already has a plethora of guards and players on the roster that can man the play calling duties. The fact is Dooling was more of a shoot first point guard anyways. Jason Terry can play point guard. Avery Bradley when he returns can play point guard. Paul Pierce can be a point forward. The team also has rookies like Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith on the roster that the Celtics brass like and now have minutes to compete for.
The bottom line is Dooling will be missed. Maybe not so much on the floor, but in the locker room Dooling’s absence will be felt. However, the show must go on. I just hope some of the new guys can come in and build on the chemistry that Dooling helped start. Remember Go Green or Go Home!!!!!!