Wyc Grousbeck Rumors
Early last year, you predicted the Celtics would score some big-name talent and that fans could expect “fireworks” in the roster. This hasn’t materialized, and you’ve since been criticized for the comment. Do you regret making it? MR. GROUSBECK: I’ve done that kind of thing since the beginning. I named [my investment group] Banner 17 and they only had 16 championship banners at the time. So that’s similar, which is to say, “We’re going for it, we’re going big.” We tried to light some fireworks over the last two summers. Instead, it’s been more steady progress. I’m always on the lookout for some fireworks, and I think it would be great for the franchise if we could make something happen. So, no, I don’t regret it. I learned from a professor back in Stanford Business School, if you don’t set a very big, aggressive goal, you’re never going to get anywhere.
NBA Commissioner Silver came out in support of sports betting. Where do you stand? MR. GROUSBECK: I am in agreement with the commissioner. If it’s going to exist anyway, it’s best to have it regulated and have it under control and have the teams and players benefit from it.
Boston Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck accompanied the team on its European exhibition expedition earlier this month and even beyond the two lopsided victories the team posted overseas, came away gushing about the makeup of this year’s squad. “I think I’ve seen 13 teams now and this is as good an energy — positive energy and teamwork — as we’ve had,” said Grousbeck. “No fooling, the glass is more than half-full with these guys. These guys are fired up to be Celtics; they are glad to be here. They’ll do anything for the team.”
“I think [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] picked some of these guys [based on their desire to help Boston build]. I think we’ve brought in guys, just as an example, David Lee and Amir Johnson, we’re not bringing in divas,” said Grousbeck. “We’re bringing in guys who have been in the league and know how to do it right. And Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, those guys aren’t worried about individual stats and they are not going to pout. They are going to get after you and try to strip the ball and try to pass it to somebody else. I love it. I loved the trip. The trip was one of the best weeks I’ve had with the team.”
“I expect, right now, that we’re competitive, hard-nosed, and unselfish. It’s basically Celtics Pride,” said Grousbeck. “But we’re not going to say we’re contending — we’re not contending at the moment. But we’re taking another step forward and we’ll be alert to a major trade whenever we can do it. Otherwise, we could have three or even four first-round picks in June and a lot of depth on our team.”
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.