Wyc Grousbeck Rumors
Moving forward, how do you continue this momentum and make sure it doesn’t flatten? Grousbeck: We’re going to have Brad here. We’re going to have our young core here, they’re all under multiyear contracts. And Danny will be here, and we will be here and the fans will be here, and we’re going to keep this rolling as long as we can. Hey, so breaking news then, you’re not selling the team? Grousbeck (laughs): Absolutely not.
What is the approach heading into the summer? It’s obviously fluid, but what’s the mind-set? Grousbeck: Well, we’ve got a lot of draft picks. Those could be traded. We’ve got a lot of room. Over the next few years, we’ll have a lot of room under the salary cap. Our intention is always to be aggressive and opportunistic in the summer. We don’t want to let a summer go by. The summer of 2007 transformed this franchise, and you never know when the next one will happen.
You mentioned Isaiah. What have you thought of the boost he has brought this team? Epstein: He’s played remarkable. I think if you listen, the fans are just waiting for him to get in the game and start popping shots. And he delivers. I particularly like him, because it’s the first time we’ve had a player that’s eyeball-to-eyeball with me. I’ve had that discussion with him actually. Grousbeck: I’ve heard he actually says he wants to be the best 5-9 player in NBA history. He points out that Allen Iverson was 6 feet. I love him. I love his spirit. We’ve got him for three more years at least, but we’ve got building blocks in place here, young players for multiple years, and we’re gonna try to keep this group together and add to it over the summer and keep moving forward.
Before Stevens, it was Kevin Garnett who chose Boston. Garnett loved Boston so much, according to Grousbeck, that he continues to recruit players to the Celtics to this day. “KG loved it and I think he’s been a real good ambassador for us, telling people [that] it’s a great place to play,” he said. “It’s very common for everybody to say, ‘Oh they can’t attract free agents;’ you know we attracted Kevin Garnett here. He did not need to sign an extension with us. He did not need to approve that trade. He wasn’t technically a free agent, but KG picked coming to Boston and he won a championship here. So I always say that he was the first major free agent to come to Boston because he was able to dictate his terms of what team he wanted to go to and he chose us.”
“I feel like my back’s up a little bit because this is the premier organization, or history certainly, in the NBA. [It is] one of the finest legacies on and off the court in the world history of sport. People see that. Kevin Garnett saw it. When we introduced him at that press conference back in ’07, he took an extra 15 minutes before the press conference even started and he went on his own onto the court, which was darkened at the time, and he looked up at each banner and he soaked it in. All 16 banners. He thought about each banner and he said he mentally hung a 17th banner up there. Then we went into the press conference. That’s the person we want here. Someone who gets it. Someone who Red Auerbach would be proud to coach. They’re out there and we’ll go get them.”
But the Celtics won’t beg players to come to Boston, rather relying on the reputation of the organization and the current framework in place to build a contender as their selling points. “This whole thing that we have to beg people and we have our hat in our hand and we’re telling people to please come; well if you don’t want to be a Boston Celtic, you’re not going to be a Boston Celtic. We’re not going to drag you here. We want you to be here and we want you to choose us. You’ve got a chance potentially to join a team that is on the way back, hopefully, to being a contender. Hopefully in not very long. We actually want people asking us to possibly consider them.”
Grousbeck sees Stevens as one of the keys to drawing in players from around the league. “I believe that the kind of guy who says, ‘I’m in the prime of my career and there’s one thing I’m missing. I’ve got plenty of money, but I don’t have a ring;’ If he looks at Brad Stevens and says, ‘I want to play for that guy,’ we’re going to be in the mix,” Grousbeck said.