Keyon Dooling said he's accepted a position in the #Celtics organization
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) November 8, 2012
When I first saw that tweet, my first thought was that I hoped they hired him to be the halftime preacher. We all remember back to last season's tough series with the Sixers, Dooling was dubbed "Reverend Dooling" because of the "sermon" he delivered at halftime of game 5 that lit a fire under the team.
"With the same approach we took tonight, with defensive intensity," Bass said of the key to Game 6 Wednesday. "At the half, we were struggling defensively. Doc didn't think we were playing for each other and Reverend Dooling stepped up and gave us a little sermon and let us know that we have to play for each other. In the second half, that's what we decided to do."
Fans were happy when Dooling re-signed with the Celtics this offseason as much for his influence in the locker room and ability to relate to the other players as for his play on the court. We were also surprised and dismayed when Dooling suddenly retired just before the season. Now, we can be happy once again because he has joined the organization in the role that he is best at, relating to players and aiding in their development.
As a player development coordinator for the Celtics, he will be right in his element. We know that Dooling's influence was a big reason for Rondo's development as a leader both on and off the court last season. The two point guards had lockers next to each other and Dooling fast became a mentor for the oft misunderstood Rondo.
“I want to encourage him, I want to help him as well,” said Dooling. “Though he’s 20-times the player that I will ever be, it’s lessons that you can learn in your approach, on your daily approach, the way I approach the game, the way I handle my teammates. Little things like that off the court can translate to better results on the court.”
It’s already resonating.
“He teaches about beyond basketball,” said Rondo, “Stuff off the court, family issues, growing and being a businessman. There’s a lot of different venues and different outlets he’s trying to teach me, which is also a good thing for me.”
Dooling loves the Celtics organization and built a strong bond with his teammates. When he retired he shared that he would be around the team and keep tabs on them. Now, he can use his strengths and wisdom to do what he does best: mentor and help to develop the younger players both on and off the court. It's a great move by the Celtics.