With everything I read about Powe, I become more and more impressed. Consider all the plans he has for the money he is earning as a pro: Helping with back to school expenses for his siblings, free basketball camps for kids, travelling to camps to work on his own game, personally thanking the doctor who reconstructed his knee, helping foster children and spiffing up his lone piece of jewelry, a tribute to his late mother. On top of that, the kid has a tireless work ethic: lifting weights, working in the gym, seeking advice of veterans, adding 3 inches to his vertical leap, and on and on. I don't know how you can't love this kid and pull for him. I sure hope that Doc gives him a chance. If Doc buries him on the bench as he did with Gomes last year, it will be a disservice to the Celtics and to Powe. I believe that he will surprise a lot of people... if only given the chance to do so.
A quick outline of Powe's schedule since being drafted in the second round (No. 49 overall) by the Nuggets, being traded to the Celtics and signing a two-year guaranteed contract for $400,000-plus per:
-- Six weeks of hard-core workouts at Baker Beach with other Bay Area players. Some were occasional drop-ins; Powe made every session.
-- Working out at Cal, shooting and lifting weights.
-- Working out with the Celtics and playing summer league (Powe's five-game averages: 15 minutes, 46 percent field-goal shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 6.6 points).
-- Workouts and scrimmages at the Warriors' headquarters.
-- Runs up Berkeley's Strawberry Canyon.
-- NBA camp in Las Vegas, where he scrimmaged with and sought the advice of stars like Jermaine O'Neal and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
"That's Leon Powe," says Ward. "Run, lift and shoot."