BOSTON - The Red Sox got their rings today, so naturally, the organization brought the entire city together for the event. With the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics recent title teams represented, Leon Powe held the Larry O'Brien trophy on the Fenway field. Powe also visited the Celtics locker room Friday evening and caught up with old friend and title teammate Rajon Rondo.
Powe, 30, saw his promising NBA career cut short after multiple ACL tears with the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, having a short stint in Memphis before playing a season in the emerging Puerto Rican BSN. Although Powe's career was short, he endures as one of the most memorable role players in recent Celtics history. It was no surprise when Powe was welcomed back to the city with high praise.
"It's home, it's family," Powe said. "I love Boston and I know they love me. We had a lot of special moments together."
Powe isn't only loved in Boston, as he trended worldwide on Twitter Friday. When I broke the news to him, he was so happy he hugged me.
"It felt great," he said on representing the Celtics at Fenway. "I wanted to represent my teammates and represent the Celtics organization well and I felt I did that and just represent the victims from the Marathon and talking to them was a blessing and they're spirits [are] up. I was happy today. Everything went well."
He was back home in California when the Marathon attacks happened, but he felt the pain and anger from across the country. But Powe knows the city of Boston and was convinced it would remain resilient.
"I was deeply saddened by, hurt, mad, angry, but all that is [the Tsarnaevs] trying to break our spirit and try to break our tradition we have every single year. I told everybody on the west coast, ‘That's not gonna break the people's spirit down there in Boston. They're so strong and that's just going to bring us together even more.'"
Although Powe misses Boston, he misses playing as well. He has considered trying to make a come back, but is not physically capable of doing so at this point.
"I wasn't able to explode like I wanted to and before I do anything, first I had to go get checked out by one of my doctors and stuff. I know that's behind me because the injuries. Injuries do happen. If my doctor be like, ‘Okay! Now you're magically healed and you can do some good things out there,' then I'll do it."
Powe has continued to thrive even though his career ended prematurely, entering the business world. Although Powe only earned a modest - by NBA standards - $3.7 million in the league, he is a graduate of California-Berkeley and is trying to put together an ownership group to buy an NBA franchise. He would not be the first player to own a team, but he has considerably less resources and power as Michael Jordan. The fact that he is able to pursue such a task speaks to his business acumen.
"[I'm] trying to put together an ownership group, an investment group for ownership to own a team. An NBA team. I've been doing research and got a couple groups with me right now. But I want to [have a] majority ownership stake, so I'm trying to make sure my side is good too."
The former Celtic and Grizzly has experience in dealing with the business side of the league, being a representative for the players during the 2011 lockout and a named plaintiff in the NBPA's antitrust lawsuit against the owners that helped end the lockout. Powe sees his unique background for an owner as a benefit to the players.
"You want the players represented well. You want other players to get opportunities to be on teams, to do what they want to do; GMs, whatever. And have the right benefits to do so. That's all we're trying to do as players. Trying to make sure the game keeps going and everybody can enjoy and watch it."
So just how close is he to making this a reality?
"I got a couple of investment groups right now and I haven't reached out to no former players yet, but I'm pretty sure I will," he told CLNS Radio. "I don't know if I will need to, but I'm pretty sure I will just to see what they say. It would be real good. I'm just trying to put everything together. You know I'm a hard worker and I'm going to stick to it and see what happens."