Yesterday, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston caught up with Doc Rivers for a post-practice Q & A. The topic: Kevin Garnett’s role as “coach” to new bigs that join the Celtics. Forsberg also provided some video of KG working with rookies Luke Harangody and Semih Erden on how to hedge when defending screen and rolls. I figured we had heard everything Garnett had to say about rookies last year but perhaps that philosophy is only subscribed to when dealing with non-Celtic rookies.
Regardless, when questioned about Garnett’s propensity for taking the Cs newbies under his wing, Rivers revealed something fairly interesting:
“If that big doesn’t listen to him one time, he’ll never speak to him again. Literally, not speak to them. That’s happened a couple of times and it’s been good for that guy. Now, the two guys that he did get to, are no longer here and that may be one of the reasons. If you’re not going to listen to Kevin when he’s trying to help you, you’re probably messed up.”
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not like this deserves some expose revealing who really pulls the strings in Boston’s front office. I just find it incredibly interesting that Rivers admitted that there were two bigs in the last 3 years that did not warm up to Garnett and that this relationship may have contributed to their exit.
Rivers obviously did not name names but for curiosity’s sake let’s throw some out there. Below is a list of the Celtic big men that have come and gone since Garnett arrived:
This is a quick list I compiled after briefly checking out rosters on basketball-reference.com. The only two players I can think of that had less than amicable relationships with the Cs were Patirck O’Bryant and Mikki Moore. Moore never really seemed to grasp the defensive rotations and O’Bryant was essentially given away to free up a roster spot.
This is all speculative and for all we know, Rivers was referring to practice/Summer League/ training camp players about whom we never really heard much. That being said, it’s interesting to think about. Who do you think refused some Garnett tutelage?