Jessica Camerato has an incredible article on Keyon Dooling over on CSNNE.com. In the article, he discusses very candidly why he left the game, his teammates on the Celtics, and his plans for after basketball. Reading it will give you a whole new respect for Keyon Dooling as a player and as a person.
Keyon's decision to retire wasn't as sudden as it seemed to fans and has been something he has been considering for some time. In the article, he is very candid about his reasons for leaving the game. Over his 12 year career, he has been a confident, a leader and a friend to many players in the league both as a teammate and as the vice president of the Players Association. He has taken on everyone's problems and been a shoulder to lean on for everyone else but has kept his own feelings and problems deep inside.
After re-signing with the Celtics, even though he loves his teammates and the organization, and he feels that they have a good chance to win it all, he realized that he just doesn't want to play any more. As he came to that realization, years of repressed emotions came rushing back to him and memories that he had tried to bury came flooding back. He had a meltdown and had to get professional help.
He is still planning to be involved with the Celtics this season, just not as a player. He will keep his home in the Boston area. He also plans to stay on with the Players Association until February. He has been offered positions with other teams but wants to take time to think it over before deciding on what his next step will be. Whatever he does, he wants to be able to stay at home with his family, so that leaves out coaching. For now, he is happy being a father to his 4 kids and a husband to his high school sweetheart.
He talks about Rondo and you can tell that the two players have become close over this past season sitting at lockers next to each other. He views Rondo as the 2nd best player in the league behind only Kevin Durant. It's apparent that Rondo's growth as a leader is in part because of the mentoring of Keyon Dooling.
“Rondo is my friend. I want my son to play ball like Rondo but shoot like me. That’s my brother. It pisses me off to see the way the media treats him because he’s strong. They’re scared of strength and he’s honest. It’s okay to be strong. What’s wrong with that man being strong? He’s earned his right. He’s come from nothing, he’s come from nothing. He’s the second-best player in the league. He didn’t make the USA Team, sometimes he’s a replacement for the All-Star Game. He’s the epitome of an unselfish player. He rebounds the basketball, he affects the game in five statistical categories. He shoots a higher percentage than all the point guards and they always talk about how he can’t shoot."
Dooling continued, “Not only do I think he’s the second-best player in the NBA behind Kevin Durant, but I think he is an amazing leader. I think he doesn’t get a fair shake in the media and I wish they knew my friend the way I did.”
He also talks about Kevin Garnett and views KG as the best player of this generation.
“I’m probably the only guy that can be a hundred percent transparent with Kevin and him respect it,” said Dooling. “I love him. He’s a brother to me. I hated him before I got here. During the lockout we went to Philippe’s and we ate in the basement and we just talked and wow. I was like, ‘I didn’t realize how much alike we are.’ Me and Kevin are just alike in so many ways.
“He’s a true intellect and he knows everything. We just get along so well and I’m so honest with him and I give him a different perspective. He gave me the last little lesson that I needed about toughness and being firm and how to empower people. Kevin Garnett is a genius. He is literally a genius. He knows everything. He stays up all night researching everything. The commitment that he has to the game of basketball is ridiculous.
“He’s probably the best player of this time, of this generation. If you look at the way all the bigs play, they don’t mimic Tim Duncan. They mimic Kevin Garnett. If Kevin was coached by Doc a long time ago and if Kevin played with five other All-Stars and all these great players in this great system, I’m sure he would have the same amount -- see, our game is a little bit weird. The best players don’t always win, and Kevin Garnett at the end of the day is probably the . . . if you don’t want to call him the best of this generation, you can definitely call him the most influential just because Kobe [Bryant] was like Mike (Michael Jordan). Derrick Rose and all these guys, it was other people who came before them like that. And when Kevin came into the league, he was different from Bob McAdoo, he was different from all those players who fit that mold.