Boston Celtics: Center Kevin Garnett Takes On Mentor Role

By Rob Nelson

BOSTON- The Boston Celtics knew the value center Kevin Garnett brought to the team goes well beyond shear rebounding or scoring numbers. KG’s stats are nice, but the fact is KG is one of those rare men that are not only great players, but leaders and team builders that make their teammates better as well. Those attributes that KG possesses are worth far more to the Celtics than the numbers KG posts on a nightly basis.

A great example of what KG brings to the table for the Celtics was what happened after practice on Sunday at the Celtics training camp in Waltham. After a long practice session where many of the veterans were scurrying home, KG stayed and grabbed the Celtics two rookie big men Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo and proceeded to school them on how to improve their games.

The rookies were more than receptive to the extra attention from their new emotional leader. Both listened and knew that what KG points out must be addressed in order to get better. Both left with a feeling that their teammate really cares about them and their development.

KG is no spring chicken. After a long practice, KG easily could have gone home and gotten a little more rest and relaxation and no one would have thought any less of him. However, KG wants more for his Celtics. The only way KG is going to get that more is by helping his teammates be the best they can be. This fact is why KG spends the time to help teach and mold his teammates to fit in the well oiled machine that is Boston Celtics basketball.

The fact is this scenes like teaching Sullinger and Melo has been going on since KG arrived in Boston. Many Celtics before the current rookies went to the school of KG. Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins credited Garnett for helping his development from rough project to starting center on an NBA championship team. KG spent a ton of time with guys like Leon Powe and Glen Davis. Those two men would go on to contribute to multiple playoff pushes and have many big games despite only being second round picks thanks in large part to KG’s tutelage. Last season rookie journeyman center Greg Stiemsma went from D-leaguer to productive backup center that showed flashes of real ability. One of the main reasons why Stiemsma tasted success was his long sessions with KG after practice.

The fact is even veterans learn a lot from KG. Brandon Bass and Chris WIlcox last year credited KG for their development in the Celtics offense and defense. KG would spend time helping them with the fine nuances of the Celtics system. Veteran or rookie KG is going to be in a players ear to make sure that they know what they are supposed to be doing in order to help the team.

The bottom line is the mentoring has already started for the Celtics latest rookies. KG will continue this mentoring for as long as they will listen. This mentoring is another example of measuring KG’s greatness without numbers. I look to hear more of these kind of KG stories as training camp continues and that is why KG is so indispensable. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!

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