While Jared Sullinger has been getting mad love, and rightfully so, it’s the man who is comfortable operating in the shadows that our Boston Celtics can’t live without. That would be Brandon Bass, the Celtics’ quiet force on both ends of the court, the consummate team playa who checks his ego at the door and lets his game do his talking.
Think about it: Without Bass, last season’s run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals simply wouldn’t have happened. Bass, who began last season coming off the bench, finished it as the team’s starting power forward, a move necessitated by the team’s paper thin depth.
Depth isn’t an issue this season. In addition to Sullinger, the Celtics now have Jeff Green healthy and in the fold. Danny Ainge also went out and signed a couple of legit big men to help take some of the heat off Kevin Garnett.
And while all of these changes are for the good, the man who glues it all together is a quiet, unselfish big with a sweet mid-range jumper and a rap game that is as underrated as his baller status among the casual NBA fans. Brandon Bass brings it, baby. Simple as that. He practices hard and he plays hard, and he does his part to keep the team’s Ubuntu-like harmony in perfect balance.
Every team should be lucky enough to have a Brandon Bass, IMHO.
Bass isn’t going to wow you – think Leon Powe with a much better all-around game and knees that actually function and you start to get the point – but that is exactly the beauty of his game. Bass doesn’t need the touches. Doesn’t crave the spotlight. Doesn’t live for the glamour. Bass is as real as it gets, a mother-fucking throwback who still appreciates the world of hip-hop and everything that comes along with it.
Bass understands that he has to work hard to realize his dreams. He dreams big, and he works big. The man balls, that’s all he does, and he doesn’t make any apologies for his commitment to his craft. He knows that the only way to reach his lofty goals is to ball hard, which in his case means constantly refining the fundamentals on which his game is based. It’s an evolution that has led to one of the most dependable players in the league today.
And if you want to know how much Bass is respected, just ask his teammates. Kevin Garnett loves him. Insert Chris Rock voice here: LOVES HIM. (Insert Chris Rock cheesy-ass grin here.)
And if my man KG digs what Bass brings to the table, then I’m 100% on-board with Bass as well. You don’t need a bigger, clearer ringing endorsement, because there is none.
Wait, I’m my own man on this one – I don’t need KG to tell me Bass is the shit. My eyes tell me everything I need to know. Brandon Bass is the perfect confluence of professionalism and blue collar basketball.
And looking at this season’s Celtics, I can applaud Danny Ainge for his upgrades, Ray Allen be damned. It’s great to have a Jeff Green back in the fold. It’s a thrill to think about what Jason Terry will do for this team. Sullinger? The young man may be undersized, but he’s a cerebral player with a nose for the ball and an sense for the game that can’t be taught. I’m all about Courtney Lee. I think Leandro Barbosa is a big add for small dollars.
But I know basketball, and I know that having Brandon Bass in a Celtics uniform is HUGE. No question about it. He’s going to make more than 80% of his free throws. He’s going to knock down jumpers at a 50% clip. He’s going to play hard and he’s going to grind like there’s no tomorrow, because he knows that he needs to give maximum effort if the Celtics are going to have a shot at making it past the Miami Heat and reaching the NBA’s Promised Land.
So enjoy your time in the sunshine, Mr. Sullinger. You’ve earned the buzz with your heady play. Just know that Brandon Bass is still my main man, and that you would be wise to seek him out in terms of learning what it means to be a professional in this league.
He’ll make you a better player because of it, guaranteed.
Boston, and all points beyond