Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 12/6/11
1d


Leon Powe went to the L.A. Defenders’ NBA D-League game Monday night and told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin he is looking at two teams — the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies.

Considering they have nearly nothing to spend, the Celtics could probably do worse than Powe. Sure, he has played just 50 games since leaving the Celtics two full seasons ago. His knees are more beat up than Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriends. He scored in double figures exactly five times last year and averaged just 8.8 minutes per game in 16 games with the Grizzlies (he played 30 games overall last season, averaging 13.3 minutes for the Cavs). But the Celtics need to do their share of bargain shopping this offseason. And Powe, if he can get healthy (admittedly a ginormous if), could be a bargain.

Plus, this is LEON POWE, who scored 21 points against the Lakers in the glorious 2008 NBA Finals, after which Phil Jackson mispronounced his name “Pow” during a diatribe against the officials. Who played three minutes after tearing his ACL against Chicago in 2009. Whose father walked out on his family when Powe was just two years old. Whose mother battled drug addiction. Whose brother accidentally burned down the family’s house, after which the Powes became homeless, making more than 30 temporary stops during Leon’s childhood. Whose ACL tear in 2009 was supposed to end his career, but caused Doc Rivers to think this instead:

“To me, [Leon's return] will be a success story in a lot of ways, because a lot of people didn’t think he would ever play again,” Rivers told the Boston Globe.  “When he got hurt, I heard that the first time, I said people clearly don’t know who Leon Powe is. That kid will always be a success story.’’

None of the facts in the two prior paragraphs will help Leon Powe average a double-double next season. But the Celtics have seven roster spots to fill. Even if Powe isn’t healthy enough to make a major difference, I wouldn’t mind him on the sideline earning the veteran’s minimum. Call me sappy. Call me blinded by a sense of loyalty which still remains from Powe’s formative years in Boston. Call me a fool, if you insist. All signs say Leon Powe is a shell of his former self and, at this point, an 11th or 12th man. I know this. Yet I still have a soft spot in my heart.

It’s a shame Powe’s knees work as well as the VCR my family threw away seven years ago. Then again, if his knees were any more healthy, he’d probably be out of Boston’s price range. Ya know, just like every other worthwhile free agent.*

*Can you tell I’m bitter the Celtics have no money and the new CBA will likely allow to use only the mini mid-level exception rather than the full one? I thought you could. But when Vince Carter and Kwame Brown start to look appetizing, bitterness tends to set in.

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