Jan 8, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
It’s a tough year in Boston.
Players are fighting through snow banks to get to a practice facility or games, but once inside it doesn’t feel a lot warmer. They are part of a 13-22 team that has lost eight of nine and as of today wouldn’t even make the playoffs is a sad Eastern Conference. The team plays young, inconsistent basketball.
That can wear down a veteran player like Brandon Bass who has tasted success. However he said he knows his role is to inspire and show these young Celtics how to be a professional, and from there how to win.
“You know, it’s tough. But it’s times like this that make you a better person better man, better father, you can learn a lot of different things from times like this…” Bass told ProBasketballTalk. “I have been on better teams, good teams with Hall of Fame players and things of that nature, and in times like this you take what you learned in those situations and make this situation better for you in some type of way.”
Bass isn’t a Kevin Garnett, in-your-face kind of leader, but he tries to lead by example and being professional — something especially important for the next six weeks as trade rumors will swirl around Bass and this team.
“I basically try to lead by example with the things that I do,” Bass said. “We got a young group, you don’t want to be talking their ear off, players hear a lot of things from coaches and other people that are in their ear so what I try to do and the way I show leadership is by example and by the unselfishness I display day in and day out.”
Bass also is one of the most active players in NBA Fit, the NBA’s program to get fans — particularly young fans — to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve watched games this week you probably noticed the NBA FIT shooting shirts and blue headbands and wristbands players are wearing. There is also an NBA Web site with fitness tips and a number of outreach programs and social media ventures.
As he is doing with his Boston teammates, Bass is trying to inspire — in this case for kids to be healthier and eat right.
“It’s all about taking the position I am in and taking advantage of it,” Bass said. “As athletes a lot of kids look up to us and what we try to do is inspire the youth in any way we possibly can.”
Bass said being healthy is really simple once you start doing it.
He said the same thing about playing winning basketball, when comparing the best teams he’s been on with this year’s Celtics.
“Night in night out you knew what you was getting from everybody,” Bass said of the two 50-plus win Orlando Magic teams he was a member of. “Defensively you knew what you was getting from everybody. Offensively you knew where you would get your looks and things of that nature.
“When you’re playing on a team that’s a really good team, and everybody knows when you’re watching a good team, things are really simple. Things may look complex, but things are really more simple as they happen on the floor. With us, we’re a young team that makes things a little more difficult than it has to be, but that’s part of growing as young players. It’s just growing pains, things to overcome.”
This is exactly why Bass is looking forward to Rajon Rondo’s return to Boston’s lineup — he simplifies things. Bass said Rondo makes things easier on everyone by making the right decisions.
But that return is still a ways away, with no date.
For now, Bass is just trying to be a professional and letting the younger Celtics see how it is done.