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Kevin Ollie Available

Who is thinking of Kevin Ollie with all the high profile free agents available?

Celtic TV personality Mike Gorman for one.

I’ll throw props for one of UConn’s more under rated NBA players myself.

On The CelticsStuffLive Show  (30 minute mark if you would like to hear it yourself) a few weeks ago, Celtic TV play-by-play broadcaster, Mike Gorman, mentioned that he admired veteran free agent point guard Kevin Ollie’s career and thought he played a solid game when given the opportunity.

When perusing a list of availables free agents, Mike had this to say…

You know who would be good around here?  Depending upon on how the things work in the guard situation is Kevin Ollie. …He’s a great kid and he’s a good player. He’s a solid back up player. Every time he gets a chance to play, he does him self proud.

Host Justin Poulin echoed that sentiment…

That’s what we need off the bench, too. We need a player who’s comfortable being a back up point guard and giving that spurt.

The Celtics have tried Tony Allen, Sam Cassell, Eddie House, Gabe Pruitt, and Stephon Marbury. All with mixe results. and all have failed to some extent, in the most basic respect, running the offense.

Marbury has come the closest, he runs a textbook pick and roll, and he could still be an option. I’m not against bringing Marbury back.

While Ollie’s not a three point shooter nor a scorer generally, he is a capable penetrator and drives and dishes effectively. He plays within himself and gives you a smart, veteran point with playoff experience to run the offense for 15 minutes a game.
Let me mention that Kevin Ollie and current Celtic Ray Allen are not only UConn alums, they were team mates on two NBA teams, the Bucks and Supersonics. In fact, they were traded together from the Bucks to Seattle.

Just by coincidence, I’ve done an interesting interview with Kevin Ollie that I was going to put up next week. Being free agent time, and with Mike Gorman throwing some kudos his way, I’ll make sure it goes up soon.

During the past season, Kevin Ollie was gracious enough to afford me an in depth phone interview. We talked about everything from his start at UConn to his well traveled NBA career. We even discussed what might be in Kevin’s future . 

By all accounts, Kevin seems to be a ‘high IQ’ Eric Snow type of player and person. Under rated and heady, Kevin Ollie is an effective communicator with solid people skills. A coach’s point guard, Kevin has the potential to be a coach himself when his playing days are done.

Undrafted, 37 year old Kevin Ollie did more than survive the NBA for 12 years. That in and of itself, is rare and only happens when you can contribute something special to a team. Only a handful of active players have done it.

Playing point guard is the most difficult position on a basketball team. He played for some of the games’ best and most demanding coaches, including taskmaster, Larry Brown. He earned the respect of his peers ands coaches along the way by playing the game the right way and by being the consummate team mate, on and off the court.  Everyone I interviewed regarding Kevin all held him in high regard and each specifically mentioned what a great team mate he is.

As sstated, that interview with Ollie will go up shortly, including additional player and coaches’ quotes from Larry Brown, Ray Allen, and Rip Hamilton.

Kevin Ollie is a class act, and still may have some basketball left in him. Signing for the vets’ minimum, he would be cheap, too.

While not a high profile signing, Ollie knows how to run an NBA offense, and brings a positive locker room vibe with him.

Hey, Mikey likes him!…… and so do I.

Thomas Halzack

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