In the 2000 NBA draft, Keyon Dooling was selected tenth overall by the Orlando Magic. On draft night, Dooling was traded from the Magic to the Los Angeles Clippers, where his twelve-year career began.He never lived up to the hype that comes with being the tenth pick in the draft. However, Dooling was an integral part of every team that he was a part of. He is a leader who specialized in bringing a locker room together.
This especially held true this past season in Boston. Dooling started a craze known as “flexing.” This brought energy to the bench and created an atmosphere and enthusiasm that resembled a college team. More importantly, it made the guys at the end of the bench, the twelve and thirteenth men on the roster, feel involved and as if they were apart of the game.
So while he only registered 86 career starts, Keyon Dooling’s twelve-year career was certainly a successful one, as he made an impact everywhere he went.
Dooling was an effective combo-guard. He was a good ball-handler, a career 34.9% three-point shooter, and a pesky defender. His quickness and length allowed him to pester opposing guards, turning them whichever way he pleased.
The Celtics resigned Dooling as an insurance policy. He provided the team with another stable ball-handler in addition to the other skills that were just mentioned. However, it is not Dooling’s skill set that will be missed most. It is his leadership.
Dooling had the ability to create camaraderie in the clubhouse. Due to the fact that it is not tangible, many underestimate just how important it is to have a locker room of thirteen to fifteen players who can coexist and are genuinely rooting for each other.
Dooling specialized in bringing a team together, and making sure that everyone felt like they were apart of the game. It is hard to recall a player as far down the roster as Dooling whose presence was missed as much as Dooling’s will be.
To the man known as reverend, we wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life.