|Posted by shawn cassidy on July 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM|
Stiemsma agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million with Minnesota earlier this week, but he stressed last night that his experience as a Celtic last season was invaluable.
That said, business was business. The Celtics weren’t prepared to offer the center anything more than the $1 million qualifying offer they made to him last month.
“I’m not surprised. I really would have liked to come back to Boston, but business went another way,” the Wisconsin native said. “I hate to make it that simple, but I had to do what’s best for me and my family.”
Stiemsma added that Minnesota’s proximity to his home was also a plus.
“Minnesota was not too hard a sell for me,” he said. “It’s very close to my family and home.”
But Stiemsma will never forget the role the Celtics played in not only giving the young big man his first NBA chance, but also his development.
“Nobody was really sure, myself included, of what would happen going into training camp last year,” Stiemsma said. “But I got some great opportunities to play, and (Kevin Garnett) and Doc (Rivers) were great with me right from the start. Everyone was willing to teach, and they genuinely wanted me to do well.
“Confidence has always been a big part of my game — when I feel comfortable on the floor everything flows from there — and playing for the Celtics really gave me that confidence,” he said. “I’m grateful for what Boston did for me. I just hope I can use this last year as a springboard.”
He now gets to learn from another Kevin.
“I’m looking forward to being on the floor with such a young, talented group,” he said. “It will be great to play next to Kevin Love. He’s such a great rebounder, and I get to learn from him up close.”
I wish we could have signed Stiemsma, but the Celtics want to stay away from the harsh luxury tax. Paying him a couple more million would have gotten the Celtics closer. But one thing sticks with me, reading Greg's comments. KG's role on this team means so much more than putting the ball in the basket, or playing defense. He's become a figure head in the culture change with this franchise. I think many of us are banking on KG this season, with the young bigs brought in. Mainly Sullinger.
I don't think Greg was asking for a lot of money, but on a one-year deal,it's not bad at all for the T'Wolves. I think most of us will follow Greg, and I hope he lasts long in the NBA. It would have been nice to see him play one more season in Boston, learning from KG.