Boston Celtics: Saying Farewell to Reserve Center Greg Stiemsma
According to ESPN Boston, the Steamroller is rolling out of town. Reserve center Greg Stiemsma has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it is highly unlikely the Celtics will match the offer with their limited cap space.
Really, the Celtics would be foolish to overpay for Stiemsma's services. That doesn't mean we won't miss him in Boston though.
Personally, I will never forget the first game Greg Stiemsma checked into as a member of the Boston Celtics. I honestly laughed when he checked into the game. Then, something weird happened—he blocked a shot.
At first, I thought it was a fluke—until he blocked another shot, then another after that.
When all was said and done in that game, he had six blocks.
Needless to say, we all liked him immediately. People rushed to give him nicknames that ranged from the Steamer to Goldiblocks.
Suddenly, he was the newest cult hero in Boston.
His breakout six-block performance reminded me of Danny Woodhead's first game as a Patriot. In that game, he scored a touchdown on his first carry. The best part of the story is that Tom Brady didn't even know his name when he handed him the ball.
As with his much, much shorter fellow cult hero, few people knew Greg Stiemsma's name when the Celtics signed him. And even if they did know his name, they still saw him as "the token white guy" or the next Brian Scalabrine.
What everyone quickly found out though is that this guy could actually play.
Come playoff time, for better or for worse, he was the first member off the bench. He fit well in the Celtics system and was able to make a much bigger impact than anyone could have predicted he would.
Did it make sense that he blocked shots at a higher rate than Dwight Howard? No, not at all, but whether you believe it or not, he did.
In terms of the instincts necessary to block shots, Stiemsma was in a class of his own. Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn even compared him to the great Bill Russell. And besides the fact that it was an incredible exaggeration, it still tells you something about Stiemsma.
His ability to block shots was at least enough to get his name in the same sentence as the greatest champion in sports. That is unbelievable.
As we continued to watch him play, we learned that there was more to his game than just blocking shots. He was a solid mid-range jumper, which worked well in the pick and pop with Rajon Rondo.
Also, his improvements in rebounding, one-on-one defense and finishing in the paint proved to be quite helpful to the Celtics.
By most people's original standards of him, he had an excellent season. He made his name in Boston and beefed up his resume.
Now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to monetarily reward him for all that he demonstrated in Boston.
We will certainly miss him. He earned a spot in the hearts of all the fans and would send the TD Garden into a frenzy with every shot he blocked.
Still, I speak for all Celtics fans when I say that I wish him the best in Minnesota. Unlike Ray Allen, there will be no ill-will between Stiemsma and the fans or the city of Boston, because Allen went to the rival Heat for less money.
Stiemsma did what most people would do: he followed the money and for a young kid not necessarily financially secure yet, we can't blame him. Plus, he did not go to a rival team like the Heat or Lakers.
Therefore, we will always remember and root for Greg Stiemsma. I hope that he continues to make an impact and plays for many years to come. I would love to watch him still playing in ten years and to remember when I first saw him play as a Boston Celtic.
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