Danny Ainge may be giving the players some time away from basketball, but we are calling every player on the roster into our Celtics Town offices for their exit interviews for the rest of this week. Here’s the fourth in the series: Shavlik Randolph.
I have to hand it to you, man, for two things. First, when the Celtics picked you up, I assumed you would just be glued to the bench for the rest of the season like any number of other non-contributors who found their way into Boston mid-way through the year over the past few seasons. But you weren’t. As soon as you entered a game, you began crashing the boards, grabbing rebounds, scoring putbacks. You also committed a TON of fouls (6.9 per 36 minutes), but that was fine. We just needed the rebounds, and you contributed them. That was pretty awesome. So awesome, in fact, Celtics Twitter tried a ton of variations on the phrase “Shavliksanity” to truly express our appreciation.
The second thing I have to hand it to you for? The hair. I mean, look at that picture above. You clearly were playing for several minutes, and knowing you, you weren’t NOT running into people and pushing them out of the way. You even have a bloody nose, for crying out loud. And yet your hair somehow appears to be perfectly swept back away from your face. Real recognize real. I’m impressed.
I’m not sure why you didn’t play more during the playoffs, Shav. Sure, you weren’t about to help the offensive woes (although when you consider how many shots the Celtics missed, you may have helped on the offensive glass), but your rebounding was always useful. You shouldn’t have been starting or anything crazy, but you had to be able to contribute more than Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee…right? Ah well. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
Presumably, the Celtics hold an option on your contract here in the offseason, so, like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, nobody is quite sure if you will return or not, and your return would be pretty cheap. Also: Congratulations on being compared to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for likely the first time in your entire career.
I wouldn’t be sad to see you return, Shavlik. You clearly care when you are on the floor, and you are very workmanlike. Not much complaining (because really, the foul calls are all good ones), no histrionics, just six fouls and nine rebounds every game. Jared Sullinger will return next year and hopefully help make the rebounding situation a little less desperate. But you’d still be nice to have around coming off the bench.
I’m trying to think if there’s anything I’m forgetting about your 2013, Shav, but I think that’s about it. Rebounds. Fouls. Hair. Yep. That should about cover it.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.