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Leon Powe Will Prove the Celtics Wrong

Jul 1, 2009 – 8:55 AM
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Tom Ziller

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Celtics forward Leon Powe tore his ACL in Game 2 of Boston's playoff series against the Bulls. A hard-working fellow who, in two seasons, had put himself in position to get a decent contract in restricted free agency, Powe had suffered another in a long line of amazing disappointments. Powe grew up in a broken family, spending time in foster care. His mom died while he was in high school. He tore his ACL twice, once in high school and once at Cal.

Every challenge life has thrown out Powe has been defeated. This latest ACL tear has killed his chance of getting a big lucrative contract this summer. Even worse, it might leave Powe completely unsigned -- completely unemployed -- as the Celtics have decided to not make Powe a qualifying offer.

It would have cost the Celtics less than $1 million -- $996,976.25, to be exact -- if no other team stepped up to make Powe an offer sheet. This is a franchise which just paid $79 million in salary, plus $9 million in luxury tax penalties. A franchise that gave Stephon Marbury -- one of the more contemptible stars in recent NBA memory -- more than $1 million for a half-season of back-up work. But Powe, one of the brightest examples of stardom gone right, isn't worth a $996,976.25 commitment?

Powe has been doing great things off the court since making the league, including starting up a mentorship program for Bay Area foster children and continuing to support his brothers and sisters. The Celtics preached "ubuntu" during the championship run Powe contributed to -- "ubuntu," or community success over individualism. Powe isn't seeing much Ubuntu from the Celtics right now.

With any other player, I'd be worried. But look at everything Powe has conquered! You think Boston's new C.R.E.A.M. philosophy will hold him down? Of course not. Powe will heal, Powe will be back, and Powe will make the Celtics regret very deeply the day the franchise cast him aside.
Filed under: Sports