After the recent birth of his first child, Leon Powe III, #0 has played as angry as he is proud.
If you’ve listened to a single Celtics broadcast this season or read anything about Leon Powe in the papers or blogosphere, you already know he’s a great guy. But, did you know he’s actually not a bad player either? In fact, he’s got a 20.21 PER right now. Yes, 20.21, as in second on the Celtics to Kevin Garnett, ahead of Paul Pierce, and well in front of the rest of the roster (including Ray Allen).
My eyes tell me the guy doesn’t have much to contribute: he’s extremely undersized (so much so that he looks like the prototype of a 3 but has the game of a 5), isn’t a great passer, doesn’t block shots and can’t even alter most big men’s shots due to his vertical issues, has twice surgically repaired knees, and seems to always be walking with a hunched gait. But the guy will NEVER play anything less than his hardest.
It’s a cliche, but it matters. Leon Powe gives well over 100%. Adversity is his bitch.
Put an obstacle in his way and he’ll go through it first, and if whistle blows, he’ll learn how to get around it instead. The man is everything a human being could hope to strive for–classy, hard-working, intelligent, and successful. He recently became a proud papa, and it’s safe to say that Leon III is “gonna know who his father was,” as Will Smith guaranteed in The Pursuit of Happyness.
There’s no telling how much longer the magic is going to last for “The Show”–if his talent and height were anywhere near as incredible as his character he would have gone #1 overall in the draft instead of 49th, after all. Players of similar build and background have come and gone before, using an inner rage to earn a contract and the respect of the fans only to see a naturally more talented youngster take their place. But Leon seems a bit different from the rest, like a guy who won’t fade away too quickly.
This should come as no surprise because he would never allow that to happen; like Kurt Cobain he would much rather burn himself out before he lets his flame flicker into oblivion.