Wow – that’s a relief. For a while there I thought our man Brandon Bass was going to jump ship. It was pretty much expected that he would opt out of the final year of his deal, but the general vibe just seemed like Bass might parlay last season’s breakout success into a lucrative deal elsewhere. Well, guess what? Bass is a Celtic guy at heart, and in the end he decided to stay with Team Green rather than start over elsewhere.
And trust me, that is good news for Celtic Nation.
Bass came to Boston with a reputation for being a great teammate, and he proved to be exactly that. Low-key, low-maintenance, professional…everything that Big Baby wasn’t, if you ask me. Bass, of course, started the season on the bench. The plan was for him to play the Big Baby role, to come off the bench and provide some offensive punch as needed. And Bass did exactly that. He has a nice shooting touch and he displayed it from the get-go.
And then the injuries started to mount. Chris Wilcox, out with the heart ailment. Jermain O’Neal, out with the wrist injury. And before you know it, Doc Rivers juggled the rotation and inserted Bass into the lineup. And just like that, the Celtics (with Kevin Garnett at center and Bass at power forward) were going small and going places.
Bass played surprisingly solid defense, too. It was exactly the perfect storm to generate a lot of looks from a lot of teams around the league, as everyone had to take notice of how Bass was helping the short-handed Celtics win games.
So, with all of the buzz and all of the activity, I was convinced that we would lose Bass after one season in a Celtic uniform. Thankfully, that’s not going to happen. Bass is on-board for three more years. He’s likely to start again this season, which means that KG is likely to start at the center position. Fine with me, because this year’s version of the Boston Celtics should have reinforcements that last year’s team didn’t. Like a healthy Jeff Green, for example, and a couple of promising rookies in Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo.
Add it all up, and having Bass in the fold is huge for the Celtics. Glad you’re back, Brandon – and can’t wait to see you on the court again this fall!