Greg Stiemsma, you guys. He’s all anyone is talking about these days. After six blocks in 20 minutes during his NBA debut, the legend of Stiemsma has grown exponentially. Tommy Heinsohn, a Hall of Famer and 8-time NBA champion, even said that Stiemsma had the same timing as Bill Russell without joking at all. How he did it with a straight face no one knows, but he really did say it.
However, just like Russell, Stiemsma is primarily a defensive player. And that’s why Doc Rivers had to give him the Jerry Maguire treatment to get him to take some shots. From ESPN:
In a way, it was Stuart Smalley sans the yellow button-down shirt and powder blue cardigan. Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers watched rookie center Greg Stiemsma pass up a couple of open looks in practice during training camp and decided he needed a little self-affirmation.
So Rivers blew his whistle and told the 6-foot-11 Stiemsma to go stand in front of his teammates and repeat the phrase, “My name is Greg Stiemsma and I’m a shooter.”
“We kept making him repeat it,” Rivers recalled. “Everybody was laughing. He said, ‘I can shoot. I’m a shooter.’ And he is.”
Pretty much the opposite of Kobe Bryant, but I guess all coaches want all of their players to shoot all the time. Though, I’d imagine, a guy like Reggie Evans hears about this sort of thing and feels like he hooked up with the wrong also-ran pseudo title contender.
And while this definitely has some Stuart Smalley connotations and I referenced “Jerry Maguire,” I like to imagine this happening just like a similar scenario did in the intermission before the final period against Iceland in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” where all the players say who they are and where they’re from. It’d be great if everyone had to do it from Rajon Rondo (“My name is Rajon Rondo and I’m a passer”) to Chris Wilcox (“I’m Chris Wilcox and I wear a headband most of the time”) with the players getting more and more fired up until Greg Stiemsma yells about being a shooter and everybody cracks up.
That’s just me though. Even if it didn’t go down like that, it seems like Rivers’ method worked out pretty well as Stiemsdawg went 5-for-7 after his little pep talk AND Boston has a new favorite hard-working white player, finally filling the Brian Scalabrine-shaped hole in their kelly green hearts. Total win-win.