Pollard excited to join Celtics

By Gary Bedore, KUSports.com, Friday, August 10, 2007

Known as one of the zaniest, silliest, most colorful players in the NBA, Scot Pollard didn’t disappoint a roomful of reporters at his Boston Celtics introductory news conference Thursday in downtown Beantown.

“I’m excited to be the cornerstone of this team,” the 32-year-old former Kansas University forward cracked after signing a one-year contract (worth $1.2 million) with his fifth NBA team in an 11-year career. He was joined at the media session by veteran guard Eddie House, who also signed a week after Boston inked all-star Kevin Garnett. “Getting Kevin Garnett has been kind of a big deal. But now that us two are here, you really have a chance,” Pollard said.

Reporters wanted to know if Pollard could use his influence in Celtics’ negotiations with Reggie Miller, who is pondering coming out of retirement to play alongside Garnett, Ray Allen and former KU forward Paul Pierce. A teammate and close friend of Miller in Indianapolis, Pollard lampooned the future Hall of Famer in the “Reggie Miller Roast” that can be viewed on youtube.com. “I’m trying too track him down and see if I can get hold of him and talk him into that. If I can be any part of that, I’d be happy to,” Pollard said, noting Miller was a small forward he hated playing against but “loved playing with.” “As a side note,” Pollard quipped, “I always hated Kevin Garnett.”

Pollard will be reunited with former KU teammate Pierce in Boston. “I’m not sure they’re done with all the moves they’re going to make,” Pollard said. “This team, it’s definitely got that feel, and we haven’t even convened yet.” As for Pollard’s role on the team, the 6-foot-11, 265-pounder told the Boston Globe: “When we go bigger and Kendrick Perkins starts, which I think will be most nights, I’ll back him up. On the nights we go small and K.G. starts at center, I’ll be the backup to the backup. Talking to Doc (coach Rivers), what I’m really excited about is the free-flowing offense. That is more like I played my whole career until I got to Indiana and it became an Eastern Conference kind of mentality.”

Pollard averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 24 games for Eastern Conference champ Cleveland last season. “I’m a running center,” Pollard said. “I’ve always been the guy that outruns my guy easy for buckets on offense and on defense can block a shot. It’s a matter of me being in the right situation. It is with a lot of role players in the NBA.”