Before you read a small anecdote of mine: Holly MacKenzie, writing for Ball Don’t Lie, wrote a must-read piece about the Celtics locker room.
1. Keyon Dooling told her if he needed to go into a dark alley, he wants Rajon Rondo with him. ”As a matter of fact, behind him,” Dooling added, “because he’s a great leader.”
2. Dooling called Garnett everybody’s favorite teammate:
“He’s incredible. I guarantee you if you did a poll of everybody who has played with Kevin Garnett, I guarantee you he would probably be 98% of people’s favorite teammate. He is that guy. He is that guy. He’s the glue. If somebody is not going well, he’s the guy to pick him up. If there’s a problem, He’s the one to address it. If somebody needs to be taken up for, he’s the one to do that, if there’s a question that needs to be asked and somebody doesn’t want to ask it, he does that. He is amazing.”
The praise continued, as Dooling gave a glimpse into Garnett’s standing within his team.
“He is … he is amazing. I guarantee you if you went around the locker room, everybody who has been around him, ask his former teammates, he is incredible, man. He is an incredible man. He should get awards every year for the man, the mentorship he gives to young guys, the work ethic that he shows them and instills in them. The camaraderie that he gives to the team. You know what I mean? The way he embraces everybody on the staff from the video coordinator to the masseuse. Kevin Garnett should be an ambassador. He is that kind of personality. He is amazing.”
3. ”He’s a reserved guy,” Dooling said of Rondo. “Don’t allow people to tell you that this guy is a jerk or an a**hole because he’s quiet and he doesn’t want to talk before games or he doesn’t have this superman personality, this Dwight Howard personality.”
4. Go read the rest.
5. Like, RIGHT NOW!
Now on to my anecdote, which admittedly isn’t nearly as cool as MacKenzie’s piece:
Late Sunday night I spoke to Luke Harangody. He had just finished his own personal back-to-back-to-back, participating in a D-League playoff game Friday, a Cleveland Cavaliers regular season game on Saturday, and another D-League playoff game on Sunday. He would play one more on Monday, making him — I believe — the only professional basketball player in America to play games on four consecutive days this season. He looked like he’d just run to Canada and back, sat drinking a water at the hotel bar/restaurant, and he was eating buffalo chicken wings, which he later acknowledged were not very good.
He did not know I was a writer, and I really didn’t plan to share his thoughts on the blog. I just wanted to ask him a few questions about the Celtics for my own personal knowledge. But then MacKenzie’s magnificent piece was published about the Celtics locker room this morning (READ IT NOW!!!) and some of Harangody’s comments suddenly became timely.
When Celtics highlights came on the television, I asked the former Celtic whether Rajon Rondo deserves his reputation as one moody son of a bitch.
Harangody shrugged, paused for a second and said, “Things happen in the locker room with every team. The media definitely takes some of that stuff and blows it up.”
I waited, hoping he would expand. He stopped for a second or two, almost giving me enough time to shout, “GIVE ME SOME DIRT, LUKE! I WANT TO KNOW THE INNER SECRETS OF THE CELTICS LOCKER ROOM, DAMN IT!”
“The KG and Rondo beef –,” he continued, and I salivated. I was about to hear something enlightening, something about KG and Rondo very few people in this world know. He kept going, “It’s completely overblown.”
That was it. Nothing more. No lifting of the curtain drawn around the Celtics locker room. No stories of Rondo throwing a bowling ball off someone’s dome piece or shattering a basket stanchion with his bare hands or barking at a Celtics employee until tears flowed down her cheek. Just a shoulder shrug and a suggestion that the media exaggerates certain situations. Nothing too neat, but nothing damning either.