As we transition from the regular season to our draft coverage, we will first take a look back at 2013-14, grading each player’s performance. These grades are a compilation of four writers: Brian Robb, Michael Pina, Adam Lowenstein and Tom Westerholm.
Bass did plenty on the floor, but it all pretty much looked the same — pick-and-pop jumper, pick-and-pop jumper, two-handed dunk after a dump-off pass, rinse, repeat, etc. So instead, here’s a video of Bass learning to swim with a bunch of cute kids.
I honestly have no idea. Would it be a good idea to keep him around? Absolutely! Bass won the Red Auerbach award for a reason — he works hard, and he’s a great locker room presence. Is he indispensable? Nooope, and he is the kind of player/decently friendly contract that could help a contender if they wanted to part with second/very late first round picks (important note: Brandon Bass is very unlikely to command a late first-round pick).
As previously mentioned, Bass won the Red Auerbach award. It wasn’t because he was a superstar, or because he put the team on his shoulders and carried them for months, weeks or even games. It was because he showed up every night and played his game.
He didn’t have to. He could have complained to the media, complained to the team, complained to his coach. He could have asked for a trade, and if he had done so, it would have been excusable. After all, like Jeff Green, he was brought in to help a good team win, not to help a bad team rebuild.
But he didn’t. He kept setting screens and popping out for elbow jumpers (where he shot a staggering 56.2 percent this season). He kept defending. He kept catching (some) passes under the basket and kept two-hand dunking. He kept quietly doing his part. It’s just that this year, on this team, his part didn’t matter much.
I’m not going to waste your time. You know what Bass can’t do. The list is lengthy, but he doesn’t really try to do any of the stuff he can’t, so it works out nicely.
Mike Pina and I both gave Bass an A-. Brian gave him a B+. Adam gave him a B-. What am I trying to say? Mostly just that you should go yell at Adam if you think that Bass should have been graded higher.
For my part, grades were based on my expectations before the season. If a player achieved those expectations but achieved nothing else, I gave him a C.
Bass exceeded my expectations by being a model citizen, not because I expected him to be disruptive but because he had no reason to have such a good attitude. He has value, and he could have made a stink that his value was being wasted, but instead he just — stream of sportswriter clichés alert — buckled down, put on his hard hat, grabbed his lunch pail and came to work every day. There’s a lot to be said for that, and I hope wherever Bass plays next season, people appreciate him as much as Boston did this year.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.