Greg Stiemsma didn't just return to the Garden tonight with the Minnesota Timberwolves -- he got the star treatment.
Stiemsma received the spot in the visitors' locker room normally reserved for guys like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. And he got a media scrum to rival theirs too.
"I'll take it," he said. Of the media attention, he said, "I believe this is a first."
Stiemsma decided to sign with Minnesota in the offseason on a deal that gave him more money and more security. Plus the Wisconsin native gets to live close to home, which was an attractive part of the package.
"I'm pissed at him," Doc Rivers joked. "I'm not going to talk to him ever again."
Stiemsma struggled with injuries to both at the end of last season, plantar fasciitis in the left and a bone bruise in the right. It was the plantar fasciitis that was the real issue and that seriously limited him on the court.
"The second half of the season, my foot was sore," he said. "Some games it was better than others, but overall it was pretty painful. You guys saw me in the boot. Those nights were pretty sore. Definitely feels good to be healthy again."