Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Mut & Merloni on Friday and reflected on the recently completed season, discussing the bond between the team and the fans.
“If you had told me a year ago when we were going into a work stoppage that we were going to come out with a closer connection with our fans and a more beloved team, basically -- that is a strong word, but you know, it is a more beloved team right now, a better connection -- I would have been shocked,” Grousbeck said. “I didn’t know if we would even save the season. I didn’t know after the start of playing the season how our guys were going to respond, and then they just put it together and, as Doc [Rivers] said at the end, they gave him everything that they had. They gave us everything that they had. And it was a great run. So I am thrilled with it. I credit the team, I credit Doc, I credit the fans -- the chant at the end of Game 6, ‘Let’s go Celtics,’ was just unbelievable. One of the best moments ever.”
Grousbeck also took a look into the future of the Celtics, and while he did not give a clear view on the offseason plans, he said the team will do what it takes to get another NBA championship.
“I think it’s fair to say when you look at the roster and you see who is under contract for next year starting with [Rajon] Rondo and [Paul] Pierce, and then you see who isn’t under contract -- obviously a number of very good players are coming off deals with us including all the way to Brandon Bass and [Mickael] Pietrus and other people opting out or being free agents -- the picture is not in place for next year yet. There are free agents available this summer as well from other teams, and there are a bunch of free agents available next summer from other teams, potentially.
“We can let this play out. We want to stay competitive. We want to stay contenders if we possibly can, but we really want to get banner 18, and sometimes you need a lot of luck to get a banner, I can tell you that. But we will see how this plays out over the next couple of years.”
As for getting players to come to Boston, Grousbeck said that having Rivers as a coach helps bring players in, but Rondo would be the key attraction for prospective free agents.
“I think having Rondo here [helps attract free agents], to be perfectly honest. If I were a basketball player … if I were thinking of coming here I would be thinking Rondo is going to deliver me the ball perfectly, he is going to steal and rebound and offensive rebound and I am going to have the ball right there and I could see my numbers going up if I was a numbers guy. So I think it is a great place to place to play basketball and I am optimistic that we are going to be able to recruit people here. I am very optimistic.”