You'd have to be a cold, heartless creature to not want to see Leon Powe back in a Celtics jersey. Still, you'd have to be a special type of optimist to think he can play a big role in bringing the Celtics a championship.
The 27-year-old was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, and he told CSNNE.com that he's open to a return to Boston.
"Boston is always holding a special place in my heart," Powe told CSNNE.com. "The fans were so good to me, everybody up there was so nice, and it would be a great thing to return back to the Celtics if I could."
It would be great from a sentimental standpoint, but not so much when the topic is basketball.
Everyone knows that Powe, when healthy, can contribute, despite his lack of size and star power. He brings selfelssness, tenacity, toughness and smarts — everything you'd look for in a bench player.
The problem is his knees. When Powe tore his ACL and meniscus in the memorable playoff series with the Bulls in 2009, it was the second major knee injury for the undersized forward. Toughness can only get you so far if your knees can't support you.
The lasting images Celtics fans have of Powe is his dominant performance in Game 2 of the '08 Finals and him gutting it out against Chicago, staying on the court for several minutes after suffering the injury that usually sends grown men to the ground crying.
If the Celtics were to sign Powe, the fans would be ecstatic to see that same guy, but they'd be disappointed. Since leaving Boston, Powe has played just 421 minutes. That's the equivalent of 8.77 games over the course of two seasons.
He hasn't played one minute since Jan. 5, and before that, he averaged 58 minutes a month. He tore his meniscus in January and underwent surgery, and he hasn't played since.
When considering the Celtics' possible addition of Powe, it's not about what he can or can't do on the court; it's simply about being able to be on the court. And you can't say he wasn't good enough to play in Cleveland because the 10-47 Cavaliers aren't exactly overflowing with superstars these days.
Of course, the counterargument is that all of this just makes it that much easier to root for Powe, that Powe's rags-to-riches story would make his Boston reunion that much more special, that of all the places Powe could play, there's no place on earth that would appreciate him as much as Boston would.
And yeah, hearing Eddie Palladino call Powe's name at the TD Garden would be enough to send chills down the spine of every Celtics fan in the building and watching on TV. It'd be a fantastic reason to stand up and cheer, but, as harsh as it may sound, it wouldn't be much more than that.
If the Celtics sign Leon Powe, will he be able to contribute to a championship? Share your thoughts below.