Lost in all this Bass vs. Sullinger “who should the starter” be talk is the fact that Brandon Bass through this entire thing has been a total pro about everything. How many established veterans would be cool with (or at least appear to be cool with) a rookie coming in and making a play for your starting spot?
But Bass is one of the select few who has barely said a peep about it. Today after practice, he continued to do and say all the right things.
“I’m confident in my work ethic — that when my name is called, I’ll be ready,” said Bass. “You’ve got to take care of what you can take care of, and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to work hard and do what I do. That’s what got me here, and that’s how I’m going to continue to grow as a player.
It helps, of course, that he was practicing with the starters. Regular readers know I’ve advocated for Bass as a starter. I think he makes the starters a better defensive unit, and no offense to Sullinger, but I just don’t want a rookie out there on opening night against the Miami Heat.
I love Sullinger. I’m very impressed by everything he’s been able to do. And I think he’s actually a better fit on the second unit, facing back-up bigs, on the floor with Courtney Lee and/or Jason Terry spreading the floor. But I also know he can work in a line up with Bass as well, and even with the starters for certain stretches.
But I’m a big fan of “setting the tone” at the start of games. I know they’re 48 minutes long. But there’s nothing like coming out big in the first few minutes and letting the other team know they’re in for a loooong game. I think Bass starting gives them the best chance at that.
You know, there are a lot of reasons to love this team, but no one talks about Brandon Bass as one of them. But he should be. We’re all bemoaning the head-shaking ball of sensitivity that “number 20″ has become… Bass seems to be the real deal. You barely ever hear from him, and all he does is work his butt off. What’s not to love about that?