BOSTON — As a champion of the “Do Your Job” mantra, Patriots coach Bill Belichick would love a player like Brandon Bass.
The Celtics big man has seen his role greatly diminish this season and has had to deal with the near-constant buzzing of trade rumors. But throughout it all, Bass has given Boston nothing less than A-plus effort.
Bass, who has yet to start a game this season after starting 181 over the previous three, again was among the Celtics’ top contributors Friday night, compiling 16 points (7-of-11 shooting), five rebounds, two assists and a block in 23 minutes in a 119-103 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
“It seems to me that he’s having as efficient a year as he’s had,” said head coach Brad Stevens, who admitted he did not know the exact metrics. “He’s playing great. He’s able to do some things defensively that help you match up with second units that play small, and he’s able to do some things offensively to take advantage of his skill set.
“… His game has risen, and he is playing well. He’s accepted coming off the bench great, and he’s been a good teammate the whole time.”
As two of the veterans on a very youth-laden team, Bass and Gerald Wallace are the two players most often mentioned as the leaders in the Celtics’ locker room. Bass isn’t a Kevin Garnett-style, in-your-face kind of mentor, but his tireless work ethic is one teammate Evan Turner strives to emulate.
“I think his intensity and the way he approaches the game each day and work ethic is definitely inspiring, and rubs off on us,” Turner said. “Every time he checks into the game, he’s ready to go, and that’s a blessing.”
Saturday is an off day for the Celtics, who are preparing to embark on a six-game road trip beginning Monday in Los Angeles. It will not be an off day for Bass, though.
“Probably (Saturday), it’s a day off, and we’re taking a plane ride,” Turner said. “He’ll probably come in 40 minutes before, an hour before the plane leaves to do some cardio. He’s always getting his work done. Even when he’s not playing he’s one of the first people at practice and one of the last people to leave the floor. That’s a true pro, and it explains why he’s always ready.”
— A few stars from around the sports world were in attendance Friday at TD Garden, including New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell. LaFell was shown on the video board and drew a huge ovation from Patriots fans eagerly awaiting Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, but he lost a few points in the eyes of Bruins fans for his hat selection.
[tweet https://twitter.com/DennisTFP/status/556268242298482689 align=’center’]
The Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, creating a bit of a predicament for Stevens, an Indiana native.
— UFC president Dana White also took in the game from courtside along with featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Here’s a shot of White (center) and Aldo (right) with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck:
Aldo is the man Conor McGregor will face for the title belt if McGregor defeats Dennis Siver in the main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 59, which the Garden will host.
Photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images