BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a good first season in the NBA for Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma.
He is finally part of an NBA team, just finalized a sneaker deal with Nike, and the Wisconsin native even has his own day back home.
“It was the day we played Milwaukee (March 22),” Stiemsma told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Wednesday morning. “I knew I had a bunch of people in the crowd, and there ended up being a few people from the Randolph Chamber of Commerce. They gave me a plaque that said it was ‘Greg Stiemsma Day’ in Randolph.”
“I would say they gave me the key to the city, but it’s so small nobody locks their doors anyways,” Stiemsma joked.
The Celtics center has played well as of late, seeing an increase in his minutes as the team copes with the loss of center Jermaine O’Neal and forward Chris Wilcox for the rest of the season. Over his last five games, Stiemsma has averaged five points and 3.8 rebounds off the bench. The number that impresses most though are the 2.6 blocks, with Stiemsma rejecting nine shots over the last two games.
With more playing time has also come a little more scrutiny from the officials. Stiemsma was whistled for a technical against the Bobcats Monday night for seemingly giving a guy a dirty look. It’s the rookie’s third T of the season, and he would like to avoid getting any others.
“I don’t know if it’s the rookie standard or what. That all comes as part of the game; it comes when you start playing more, getting more minutes,” said Stiemsma. “Hopefully I’m going to do my best to avoid those situations. This next paycheck, I might have to pay in if I keep getting technicals. But like I said it’s part of the game.”
Stiemsma and the Celtics have appealed to the NBA to get his latest technical rescinded.
“Hopefully it will get taken back. I didn’t even go and argue with him. I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to get tossed,” he said of the most recent T. “I thought that one came pretty quick so I didn’t want to go ask for an explanation to warrant a second one. The play happened, whatever it was, I’m just trying to move past it.”
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Unfortunately for Stiemsma, his alma mater Wisconsin was ousted from the NCAA tournament last week with a loss to Syracuse. While Stiemsma’s team is out, Paul Pierce (Kansas) and Rajon Rondo (Kentucky) both have dogs left in the fight, and are letting the rest of the Celtics know it.
“They’re walking pretty tall right now in the locker room,” Stiemsma said. “Kansas tried to give it away a couple of times but Purdue didn’t want to take it. Then (UNC) didn’t want to take it either. It’s fun to have a couple of guys that have some ties to two programs. It makes for a little more interesting conversation in the locker room.”
What does Stiemsma think of Kevin Garnett’s emergence at the center position? And what is it like to play a road game with a TD Garden-like atmosphere? The Celtics center breaks it all down with Toucher & Rich!