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Red's Army

The sad reality about the Leon Powe decision

RedsArmyAdmin July 1, 2009 Uncategorized 21 Comments

I hate that Leon Powe was not offered a contract.  Hate it. 

But I get it.

Had the Celtics offered, and Powe accepted, the qualifying offer from the Celtics… they would have been on the hook for about $1.6 million dollars when you combine the contract and luxury tax.  It's just too much to pay a player, even a guy as great as Leon, to not have a role on your team.

Yes, it's a business decision.  And yes, it sucks.  But the Celtics just can't do what Powe's agent thinks they should do.

What does it say when a player like Leon Powe, a great
human being, who played through injury and pain for three straight
years for the Boston Celtics, including in a playoff game after tearing
his ACL, is rewarded by the team saying to him "we only have a short
window to win, and you are not a part of our plans because you are now
injured."

It shows you the true state of the NBA.

The
Celtics are traditionally a class act. I have great respect for the
organization as a whole, but they truly missed it on this one.

Look… I'm one of Leon's biggest fans.  I REALLY want him back with the Celtics when he's healthy.  But we fans can't have it both ways.  We've been sitting here talking about bringing in potential free agents for weeks now.  We've been talking about how the C's only have so much money to spend and so many spots to give.  We've got to make a choice:  Give the money and roster spot to someone who can be productive… or contribute to the Leon Powe knee injury fund. 

As fans, we've got to make a choice:  Do we want to go to a parade… or do we want to help out a great guy as he struggles through his knee injury.

I hate to sound callous because I think that, in a perfect world, we could throw Leon a bone and give him a 1-year minimum deal. 

But not right now.  Not with the Celtics so close to another title.  It is the sad reality of sports… which we in New England have seen very clearly with the New England Patriots.  Every year, guys we like go away.  And every year, we get over it when they win.  The love for the Patriots has not dwindled here in New England because of their hard-line personnel decisions… it has grown… because winning is all fans really care about.

I love Leon and I want him to be a Celtic for life.  He's everything that's right about a pro athlete.  But I think even Leon knows that injuries… and the potential for that injury to cost you a job… is part of the deal when you get paid a lot of money to play a game. 

My hope is that Leon gets healthy, and the Celtics leave a spot open for him to come back in December or January.  That would make me happy.  If not, I hope Leon hooks on somewhere and has all the success he deserves. 

But we all know that if June 2010 rolls around and we're lining Boylston St. to celebrate Banner 18… the events of early July 2009 won't really matter to us at all.

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  • thetitleisours

    Obviously from a pure player standpoint it may not make sense to offer him a contract.
    But what about the long term “emotional” impact? Will players in the back of their mind no longer trust the team to back them if they give “all out”? Will playing even more feel like “only business”, instead of some loyalty to an organization?
    There is a middle ground here. Not offer him a player’s contract, but support him on his recovery (which they are doing), and publicity say that Leon will always have a place in this organization if he cannot return to playing (coach, PR, scout, etc). These are safe promises because Leon may not even be interested, but the gesture will stand. And if he did join the team, he will tell every young player to give it 100% because if something happens to you the team will stand with you.
    The short term will have no impact, but these are seeds for future Celtic teams

  • Joe

    I couldn’t disagree more with your premise that the whole Leon saga will go away once we win another title. I have no facts or logical reasons to back up my argument. I just believe that doing the right thing counts for something even in pro sports. Also, bad karma terrifies me. And this is just bad karma.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5d5d11970c Tim (FD)

    Just sucks for Leon…. who would have been able to make a lot more money had not gotten hurt. He would have been able to get at least 3 or 4 million a year over 3 or 4 years in my opinion.
    And out of all the guys in the league…. he’s probably the one that would have needed it the most. We all know how many people he supports and how many more he wants to support….. It’s hard to do that without a contract.
    Leon risked his contract for the team by playing hurt… and this is what he gets in return.
    I have to disagree here, I think the Celtics mishandled this situation

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Yeah… I know it sucks. I don’t like it at all either. At least Danny seemed to leave the door open to the possibility of re-signing him today.
    But I’ve seen guys get shipped out time and time again… and people celebrate the championships just as much as they did before.
    As for “it’s business.” We accepted it when James Posey left town. We know that a player getting overpaid is good for the player.

  • Alex

    Losing Leon Powe feels like losing Michael Jackson and Billy Mays… times 20. :(

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157060540b970b Orb

    I hear what you’re saying, but still… Leon’s not just another guy. The outpouring I’ve seen today proves that. Plus, I think that’s a false choice: “parade or help a great guy,” they’re not exclusive in this case. We proved last year that the first half of the season, hell – MOST of the season – , is worthless compared to the postseason (winning streak anyone?). Giving LP a minimum $1m now or to have him come back later for some similar amount, I don’t see the big difference. And being one of the older poster’s here who remembers this, I STILL think we did the right thing with the aging big 3 by keeping them past their prime. We DID trade parades for what was right then, and it’s what made us Celtics fans. By the “business only” logic (which I get, I really do), we should’ve traded our entire team for the Laker’s team in May. Yeah, we’d have a parade this year, but I certainly wouldn’t be at it.

  • Nick

    Anyone who thinks we should keep Leon and his chronically injured knees is fucking retarted. I keep hearing and I heard it again on yahoo today that the C’s are going after Anthony Parker. WTF are we doing this for? Parker is 34 and he can’t hold Maruis Daniels or Matt Barnes jockstrap. Give me a fucking break. I didn’t get 2 pissed last year when we didn’t resign Posey and didn’t replace him. But 2 straight years without someone filling Posey’s role is a fucking joke. Anthony Parker is awful. I’de rather have any of these guys over him…Ariza,Barnes,Posey,MarquisDaniels,BruceBowen,GrantHill,JamarioMoon, Ide rather play Giddens,Walker and T.Allen over him. What a fucking Joke! I Hope this shit ain’t true.

  • Jp

    I hate to see Leon not get signed. I’ve said it before, but to me he embodies everything it means to be a Celtic. The kind of guy I would like to have over for dinner. But how can anyone other than Wyc justify giving this guy a contract right now? Anyone who thinks we should give this guy a roster spot just isn’t thinking clearly right now. Maybe we can start a petition to get him a different position on the team. Can’t Wyc make him a high paid ball boy for half a season until he is healed? That makes more sense to me. The team can still take a payroll hit for the guy we love, but not sacrifice the team.
    Leon can sell popcorn for $400,000 this year.

  • thetitleisours

    Just to respond to a question my statement probably asks is that obviously we cannot offer a position with the Celtics for every player or ex-player that comes through here.
    But Leon is special. That is not a worry because there are very few Leon Powe’s in the world.
    A guy of that class can only help this team. Call it winning intangibles. Sometimes the cold business decision is not the right one for the future. It just makes us like everyone else. And again, exceptions will be very rare. But to me Powe fits in the rare exception category.
    For example, can you imagine him as a scout, telling all the young players how great an organization Boston is? Could be the edge in landing some future top free agaents

  • Danno

    I don’t remember Leon ever diddling kids or yelling at me to buy some $19.99 piece of crap.
    And he’s not dead either.
    Talk abotu retarded overreactions.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115704b7be5970b bigpartymaker

    I think you can give him a roster spot because Doc only plays 7 or 8 guys anyway….

  • Alex

    Well well… someone has their panties on too tight.
    Learn to take a joke.

  • thetitleisours

    Agree Jp

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570539554970b Ryan (UNH)

    Its funny how Leon and TA are kinda in the same boat with the C’s but at the same time its completely different. Guys who’ve spent theyre whole career with the company, battled knee injuries and have at times been embraced by the fans. Its just Leon is being let go at the peak of his popularity while every1 has basically had enough of TA.

  • Credz22

    I love leon and if he didn’t have this injury he’d develop to be way better than bbd

  • Remember Today When Leon Comes Back

    LEON is going to destroy the celtics on the court when hes in an oklahoma thunder jersey. Forget about the feelings, for LESS THAN ONE MILLION dollars he is a killer bargain.
    It was a BAD business decision and I defy Danny to remember this day when he is back on the court scoring double digits.
    Moore, Scalabrine, Pruitt…now those are wasted roster spots.

  • Remember Today When Leon Comes Back

    ps. Ubuntu is a total joke
    pss. I will be courtside in a Powe jersey when they play the celtics.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115704b7be5970b bigpartymaker

    No you won’t

  • Danno

    Courtside in OKC, what’s that cost, about $47?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    I hear ya… and I know you’re pissed off at the decision…
    But Leon isn’t going to be ready until the All Star break if we’re lucky. Maybe longer.
    If we didn’t love this guy, we wouldn’t even be paying attention to this story. If they did this to Tony Allen a year ago… no one would be crying about it.

  • Lakerhater

    LMAO. How did clay the ass clown bennet suddenly become the posterchild for benevolence? You may want to check his references in Seattle first. I hope Leon lands somewhere better than OKC>