BOSTON (CBS) – After the Celtics elected to deal Rajon Rondo two weeks ago, Brandon Bass became one of the longest tenured members on a rebuilding roster.
During four years in green, the guy has nearly seen it all. He was a starting power forward on an Eastern Conference championship finalist in 2012. He maintained those major minutes during the final year of the Big Three era in 2013. He battled for playing time in a crowded frontcourt during year one of the rebuilding process last season.
Now, after the addition of yet another big man to the rotation last week in Brandan Wright, Bass has been on the outside looking in when it comes to Brad Stevens' rotation.
The 29-year-old has played just 42 total minutes in his past four games, including a couple of stints under 10 minutes. The demotion comes in spite of the fact that Bass has been one of Stevens' most consistent bigs on both ends of the floor all season long.
With youngsters like Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller and Wright all battling for minutes at the power forward and center spot, there's simply no opportunity left for the veteran that likely isn't part of the team's rebuilding plan.
At Monday's practice, Bass reflected on the tough spot Danny Ainge has put him in with his roster construction. Instead of going negative, Bass tried to keep a positive mindset.
"I just control what I can control, and just try to look at everything as a blessing. Because this is my 10th season, I've seen a lot. Some people don't even get to go through what I've gone through in my career. You've got to look at it like finding something good out of everything," Bass said.
The person that probably has lost the most sleep dealing with the situation is Stevens. He's doing his best to make sure he doesn't lose any guys in the locker room, while also trying to develop the youngsters and win games. Not exactly the easiest issues to manage with a roster that's so even top to bottom.
Without enough minutes to go around, he knows there have been some victims.
"Bass has played less since the trade, and he's been phenomenal," Stevens of his attitude. "And you see [Bass] now, he comes to work, he does the same thing every single day. It's a challenge, but we try to be as proactive as we can."
While an ankle injury to Jared Sullinger may help clear out the logjam amongst the Celtics bigs in the interim, Stevens know the minutes problem won't be going away anytime soon, that is until some trades are made.
"It's going to take a lot of sacrifice on guys' part, to be honest," Stevens said of the playing time. "There's going to be a solid rotation-level player or two that will not be playing, simply as a result of numbers. That's a difficult thing, especially when you're not winning. We haven't won a game in the last four, that's a challenge."
As Bass waits for what comes next in his career (he's in the final-year of his contract with Boston), he's not letting the situation get the best of him.
"I've got so many things going on in my head," Bass said. "It has helped me. I would just say that in a lot of different ways, on the court, off the court, just to face adversity and keep going. Because a lot of people just lay down in cases like this. That just ain't me."
With limited time remaining in Boston, Celtics fans should be appreciative of that kind of attitude Bass has displayed throughout his four-year tenure in Beantown. He won't get many accolades for it, but through thick and thin he did his job everyday.
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