If Greg Stiemsma is on his way to Minnesota, there’s little question that the Celtics will miss the shot-blocking big man who seemed to arrive from nowhere. It’s a shame, too, because we ‘discovered’ Stiemsma after the rookie took a strangely circuitous route to the NBA. Hell, the man bounced around Europe more than Jason Bourne. And just like that, before we could really begin to reap the benefits of Steimsma 2.0, he’s gone. Poof. Playing ball for the Timberwolves.
Just doesn’t seem right.
Doesn’t seem fair.
Such is the life in the era of free agent professional sports.
The Celtics really could have used Stiemsma this season. Instead, Doc Rivers may need to lean more heavily on Fab Melo than originally expected. Unless Dany Ainge goes out and signs a Darko Milicic to take some of Stiemsma’s minutes. Whatever happens, I can see Stiemsma really helping the T-Wolves. He’ll give them a solid big off the bench, a player who can run the floor and block shots, a selfless athlete who knows his role and who doesn’t care about the spotlight or the stats.
A gut like that will be around in this league a long time. He doesn’t get the fanfare of a Jeremy Lin – there is no Stiemsanity - but I’d be willing to bet that he’ll have a longer shelf life. He’s not a superstar, but he won’t go out and embarrass the franchise – how long did it take Jason Kidd to ring up that DUI after signing with the Knicks? He’ll simply be a hustler, a scrapper, and a good teammate. Think about it: Kevin Garnett seemed to genuinely like Stiemsma, and KG doesn’t give up the love to just anyone.
So you’ll be missed, Mr. Stiemsma. Completely understand your decision, and hope it works out for you. You’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts.