Whatever happens, it’s now highly unlikely that our man Greg Stiemsma returns to Boston. Not a shock, as we’ve been bracing for this for quite some time, and his final decision will hardly cause the uproar of a Ray Allen-to-Miami sort of thing. But Stiemsma will be missed, whether he’s wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform or something else, because we discovered him – no, wait, it felt more like we invented him, as if we formed the Steimroller out of primordial ooze.
Stiemsma is a lesson in perseverance for us all. Remember Dory in Finding Nemo? Her mantra was simply to ‘Just keeping swimming, just keep swimming…’ That’s Stiemsma in a nutshell - whether playing in the hinterlands of Turkey, or South Korea or Sioux Falls, Steimsma was been singing his ‘Just keep blocking…’ theme song all the way to the NBA.
How can you not respect a guy like that? How can you not feel happy for a guy who has worked hard, kept his nose clean, and has remained focused on his childhood goal of becoming a very well-compensated NBA basketball player? Certainly, I would have loved for him to continue his career in Boston. But his contract situation being what it is, Danny Ainge suddenly found himself priced out in a bid for Stiemsma’s services.
Oh, and you can probably blame Jermaine O’Neal for that. Had O’Neal actually played the game of basketball for the Celtics, instead of sitting on his ass watching TV and sucking dollars from the system, them Stiemsma’s role likely wouldn’t have commanded the dollars he commands today.
But O’Neal’s attitude, coupled with an acute case of brittle bone disease – who else in this league breaks both wrists, three vertebra and a couple of ribs opening a bag of Doritos – created the perfect opportunity for Stiemsma to showcase what he can do in this league.
Good for Stiemsma. Nice guy. Class act. Solid defender.
Wherever he lands, you can bet he’ll just keep blocking, just keep blocking…and that he’ll be compensated handsomely for doing so.