Preach! - Elsa
He's no longer playing, but his impact is still being felt in the Celtics locker room.
The Celtics were reeling in December. They were losing games and losing their composure. There were hints and gossip about locker room tension and splits. They needed some wins in a bad way and they needed something - or someone - to pull them out of their doldrums. It sounds as if that someone was Keyon Dooling.
"Keyon Dooling has actually helped, actually," said Rondo. "He’s been in the locker room, amping guys up. His personality, I think it started with him." Dooling earned the nickname "The Reverend" last season for his inspirational and impassioned talks. His trademark question, "What's driving you?" has forced countless athletes to look within and realize what they were playing for each day.
Whatever he said, it seems to have worked.
"Our spirits are better, obviously," he said. "It's not fun losing. And since we've been winning, our locker room has been a little bit more relaxed, not so tense. Guys are smiling again and joking. So it's back to where we've been from the start. "We lost a couple games. We never got down, we just tightened up a little bit in the locker room. But I wanted to be the guy that just tried to get us back as far as how we play. We play loose, we might smile out there on the floor sometimes -- well, I don't, but some of my teammates do. Guys like Courtney, he loves to smile, Jeff [Green] as well. Just get that swag back, and I think we've done that the last couple games."
If you aren't very familiar with Dooling, I urge you to read the following two articles on him. Should be an inspirational experience for you as well.
- 'What's driving you?': Dooling's impact on the NBA
- Keyon Dooling and what we don't know about athletes - SBNation.com