On KG, Rondo and Snoop Lion

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On KG, Rondo and Snoop Lion

I'm not sure why it makes me so happy to see Kevin Garnett happy, but the sight of a smiling KG gets me every time. I don't care if he's dancing to Gino, goofing around in the locker room or . . . hanging out backstage at a Drake concert with Rajon Rondo and Snoop Lion, if Garnett's amused, I am too. It's entirely instinctual and uncontrollable. It's also a little weird and pathetic, but what are you going to do?

Anyway, back to this photo, which I first saw yesterday morning on Ben Rohrbach's Green Street Blog. It made my day for a few reasons.

First, the Garnett smile. Or more of a smirk in this case. Honestly, just the mere proof that KG's out of the house and enjoying himself is enough to make this photo a winner. It's times like this when we remember how little the "old" label we put on KG in basketball terms translates to real life. We're reminded that he's still only 36. Still highly capable of enjoying himself at one of the hottest rap shows in the world. Hell, KG's almost five years younger than Snoop. He's still a real world youngster. Kind of.

Second, it's fantastic to see KG and Rondo hanging out together. Not that it's any surprise. I think it's fair to say the relationship between these two goes deeper than any inter-athlete relationship in town. Deeper than Brady and Welker. Deeper than Lackey and Beckett. The KGRondo dynamic is a complicated mix of fatherson, big brotherlittle brother, Master PoGrasshopper and buddybuddy. There are all sorts of ins and outs and what-have-yous. Just know that it's unbelievably special, and there's no relationship more integral to the Celtics success this season. So it's good to see them out having fun, continuing to build on their already rock solid foundation.

And then there's Snoop, who was actually a pretty decent baller in his day, before dedicating his life to music and weed (one of those past times doesn't lend itself to the nature of the NBA's drug testing policy). But really, what's better than a random picture of Rondo, Snoop Lion and KG hanging out back stage at a concert?

I suppose listening in on their conversation.

You think KG and Snoop both call Rondo "Shorty" or does the elder Snoop get the Shorty privileges based on seniority? Did they call him Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion? Or maybe just Snoop? Did Snoop ask them to smoke? And if he did, they would have had to say yes, right? I don't care if you're going to get drug tested, the NBA would understand. When the test comes back positive you just say: "Listen, there are extenuating circumstances. I was smoking with Snoop." And all would be forgiven. I'm not sure it's even illegal to smoke weed with Snoop Lion.

Guess I'll have to wait and ask KG that on Media Day.

I'm sure he'll be more than willing to elaborate.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

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List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
 
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
 
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
 
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
 
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
 
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
 
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
 
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
 
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
 
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
 
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.