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Wilcox reportedly was close to being shipped to the Washington Wizards as part of a deal that brought shooting guard Jordan Crawford to Boston. But Wilcox utilized a clause in the collective bargaining agreement to veto a potential deal and the team ultimately sent veteran Jason Collins to Washington, along with injured Leandro Barbosa, to complete the swap.
[...] “The main thing is this team gave me a second chance at getting back into the league, so I wanted to come back here and prove my point, let them know that I appreciate everything they did for me so far,” Wilcox said.
[...] “They took a chance on me, bringing me back after the trade deadline, so I just wanted to come out and play hard,” Wilcox said.
Chris Wilcox has gone through a lot in the year since finding out about his enlarged aorta. But now he faces the most important stretch of that year.
He is only 30 years old, but in 10 years in the league, he’s played for six teams and he’s never been in the playoffs. He’s been on two minimum deals in two years with the Celtics, a career that been interrupted by a potentially life-threatening condition. Now, due to injuries and Kevin Garnett’s age, the Celtics have no choice but to play Wilcox important minutes over the last third of the schedule. This is his chance to not only help his team… but also to help himself. He’s playing for what might be his last contract. He’s not only trying to win games… he’s also trying to win some stability for himself.
Wilcox says the added minutes, and a clearer role will help him do what he needs to do.
“My role has basically been the same the whole time, but it’s just more so being consistent and having the minutes to play it in,” he said. “At one point in time, I was playing like four or five minutes and it was kind of tough to be consistent and not know if you were going to play tonight or not.
“But now, I know my role and I know when I’m coming in and I know what I need to do to prepare.”
Wilcox will be a key factor for the Celtics if they are going to improve their playoff positioning. As I mentioned on last night’s Celtics Stuff Live podcast (click the link to listen or download), the Celtics, with everything that’s happened to them, are just 2 games out of the fourth seed and home court in the first round of the playoffs.
After all the injuries and the nonsense that’s been surrounding this team, they’ve got a chance to open a playoff series at home. But Doc’s going to have to make sure Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are ready for that series. That means other guys… guys like Chris Wilcox… are going to have to step up and become key contributors to wins down the road.
Wilcox says he’s ready. He’s played pretty well lately. But he’s now playing the most important basketball of his career. Is he up for the challenge?
Related links: ESPN Boston: First sub is first rate
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