Bass: 'I'm just trying to fit in'

Bass: 'I'm just trying to fit in'
January 3, 2012, 5:27 pm
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BOSTON Brandon Bass is one of the new guys with the Boston Celtics.

But it hasn't taken him long to look right at home with the Green Team.

The season is still young, but Bass has emerged as one of the early front-runners for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.

Coming off a season filled with career benchmarks in Orlando, Bass has been even better with the Celtics. He's averaging 13.2 points per game with the C's while shooting 52.9 percent from the field - both career highs.

"I just wanted to come in here and do what I can to help us win games," Bass told CSNNE.com. "We already got good players; great players, hall of fame players. I'm just trying to fit in, that's all."

While all of the new faces have been welcomed by the Celtics' core group, it's clear that Bass' connection with them is different. For many of the new guys, this is their first experience being around this much talent, but Bass has played with some of the NBA's top stars, like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Dirk Nowitzki.

"Brandon has played on other teams with immense talent. Our team is no different from that," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "The difference in our team and any other team he's played for, is the way we embraced him here."

Garnett began to discuss how the tradition-rich culture in Boston is what sets the Celtics apart from most NBA franchises.

"Understand it's about tradition and following the footsteps of many that come through here and him really understanding that," Garnett said. "It's not just about one guy here; it's about the team and know guys in here and how we take care of our own. He's coming into that. I don't think he's been around anything like that."

But ultimately, Bass' ability to help the C's win will determine how good a fit he'll be this year and moving forward.

After six games, it's clear that Bass is capable of more than filling the void left by Glen Davis who was part of the sign-and-trade deal with Orlando that sent Bass to Boston.

"The one thing we knew we were getting (with Bass) was energy, and we also knew we were getting a guy that could make shots," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "His energy has been great. He still needs to pick up schemes defensively. I think he can be a great defender. Right now, he's struggling with our schemes. We just have to keep drilling them."

Blending in with the older, more established players in Boston takes Bass back to his days in Baton Rouge, LA growing up in a neighborhood known as EasyTown - which Bass has said often, 'is a town where nothing comes easy.'

"Going to the park, playing ball, playing older, tougher street guys who foul and don't want you to call foul. It makes you tougher; it makes you have thicker skin," Bass said. "That's why I'm able to play against guys like KG and have fun with it."

And KG appears to be having fun playing with Bass, the latest former LSU star (former C's Glen Davis and Shaquille O'Neal both played for the Tigers as well) to don the Green and White.

"We've embraced him here," Garnett said. "I can tell off the results of us gassing him and keeping him going, he likes that. He's an LSU boy. We've dealt with a couple of LSU boys here. You gotta cater towards that ego a little bit. But he falls in; he's a big addition to us. We're very blessed to have Brandon."