Originally written on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 5/3/12
F1


Kevin Garnett loves this year’s Celtics. They are grit and balls. They play hard as ****. They are his type of team, a team that sticks together like the GSE firm in Green Street Hooligans, standing by each other’s side and throwing haymakers as dangerous brawls break out all around them, or more accurately, as they seek out dangerous brawls. Sometimes, when I close my eyes after certain Celtics victories, I can almost hear “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air” resonating from the Celtics locker room.

These Celtics, more than any other team in the Big Three era with the possible exception of the very first, are born in Garnett’s likeness. Almost every Doc Rivers press conference features the coach discussing his team’s great spirit. The one time he really bashed this crew during a press conference, it came after a weak effort against the Derrick Rose-less Bulls. Rivers really let the Celtics have it, tore them apart, questioned their toughness — but even that loss would have been commonplace the past two seasons. Expectations for effort in these parts have changed.

These Celtics are different. Maybe not as talented — definitely not as talented — but wired 1-15 to fill their roles. And Garnett loves that. He loves Avery Bradley’s rise to prominence, which came largely because Bradley plays like his survival depends on the outcome of games. He has advocated that Bradley and Greg Stiemsma get rewarded with long-term contracts. He loves both of Boston’s 2011 draft choices, E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, who are professional even if they haven’t made a huge impact this season. Garnett looks around the locker room and everyone he looks at pleases him, because they remind him of himself, not as talented but dedicated to, and consistent within, the game they play nightly.

And his teammate’s return Garnett’s love. This year, perhaps more than any, has brought Garnett praise from every corner of his locker room. The praise continued Thursday when Jessica Camerato published a series of quotes from Garnett’s adoring teammates.  Here’s one excerpt out of several, per Brandon Bass: (WEEI)

“Kevin is an emotional, passionate guy. That’s what I love. He’s been like that since the first day I got here. When MP went down, he was there talking him through the whole thing. I know MP, he knew Kev would be there for him for life. He’s one of our vocal leaders and I would say the most passionate and emotional leaders, too . . . I haven’t played with anyone who is as serious and passionate vocally as him . . . A lot of our sayings around here all come from KG. When we’re down, one of his sayings is, ‘Keep going.’ If he sees anybody having a bad game or struggling in any type of way, he’ll say, ‘Keep going’ for the guys to keep going. … He talks and he goes out and gives his best effort every night, so it’s easy to follow someone like that.”

Danny Ainge’s decision to acquire Keyon Dooling this summer symbolized the quest to build as strong a locker room as possible. Dooling hasn’t been great on the court this season, or even good. He hit just 40 percent of his shots, isn’t a playmaker by any stretch of the imagination and earned this season’s annual Rasheed Wallace Award after being suggested by fans more often than any other Celtic to get thrown out of the rotation. But Dooling seems to be friends with everyone on Boston’s roster. He said Boston’s Game 2 win was a tribute to Rajon Rondo. He took the time earlier this season to attempt dispelling any “Rondo is a locker room nuisance” speculation. He claims Garnett is the best teammate ever. He has nothing but praise to say for his teammates, and when Dooling hit two key three-pointers Tuesday — after a difficult season, after months of fans clamoring for E’Twaun Moore — he said simply, ”It’s not about what I did. It’s about our team and our defense.”

For these Celtics, this year, it’s never about what individuals do. It’s about their team, their defense, their quest for victories. It’s how the Celtics finished with the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed despite a 15-17 start, despite the 24th-most efficient offense in the league. They are grit and balls. They play hard as ****. They are a locker room linked by a singular quest. They are coached by Doc Rivers and captained by Paul Pierce, but this team smells a lot like Kevin Garnett.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care if he’s popular

Johnny Manziel struggles in first day of Browns camp

Report: Wilson, Seahawks agree to four-year, $86.7M contract

Report: Former Jets exec leaked false Deflategate info to ESPN

Belichick on sticking it to NFL: 'Really not very important to me'

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

Stop kvetching about Notre Dame, please

Rebuttal banner supporting Tom Brady flies over Pats practice

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

LeSean McCoy cancels party, but it wasn't some 'weird orgy'

Redskins making huge mistake by signing Junior Galette

New Blue Jay David Price got a flat tire on his way to Toronto

Five of the worst baseball trades since 2000

Famed ballboy Red Lightning spotted at Falcons camp

Rickie Fowler aces final hole, treats media to free beers

SEC remains college football's best conference

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker