Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, in an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show, suggested that the Celtics remain an attractive destination for marquee players despite the fact that David West chose to sign with the Pacers over the Celtics and Magic star Dwight Howard has suggested that the Celtics are not on his desired list of teams to join.
"We just have to make our club attractive for players to come to. It’s been attractive. We attracted Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. We think we’ll attract players in the future," said Pagliuca. "We still think it’s an attractive place. We have a great coach in Doc Rivers. We have Rajon Rondo, who’s a fantastic point guard who people want to play with. You see the young guys playing really well right now. We have two first-round draft picks in the next draft. It’s going to be an attractive place to play. When players come in and see those banners up there, they see that the Garden is filled every night, from a fan’s standpoint, there’s nothing like this, playing in the Boston Garden. We don’t really find reticence to come here. In fact, they want to come here.
"Doc is a player’s coach. Players love him. We’re lucky to have Doc, the tradition. We’ll compete to get these players," Pagliuca added. "Lists don’t mean very much. At the end of the day, players often go to places that are not on the list. I don’t think we were on [Kevin Garnett’s] list. ... Who knows what those lists mean? I think if you have a good organization, have a great coach and a great tradition, then you can compete."
Pagliuca also talked on several other topics. Among them:
On Paul Pierce, the team's slow start and subsequent turnaround coming out of a lockout-shortened camp: "Across the league it was tough, especially for us because we had seven new players coming in. ... One of the keys for us was Paul [Pierce] was hurt. Now we’re seeing the real Paul Pierce. Superman is back in the building, for sure."
On whether Pierce will be a member of the Celtics for his entire career: "It would be great if that could happen. From day one, we’ve had a fantastic relationship with Paul," said Pagliuca. "In the dark days -- it seems long ago now – in the dark days, Paul carried the team. In the rebuilding, he went along with the rebuilding. We sat down with him many times and said we need you here. We need you committed. Paul trusted us, we trusted him and it brought us a championship.
"He’s back. He was player of the week last week," he said. "He’s back and looking like the old Paul Pierce. It’s a great thing to watch, isn’t it?"
On whether Danny Ainge can blow up the team: "Danny doesn’t use the term ‘blow it up.’ What he is constantly doing is [asking] is there a way to upgrade the team for the long-term and the short-term," said Pagliuca. "When you’re blowing it up, you’re trading a transcendent player. That player can be very good for the next couple of years and you can end up trading him for something that doesn’t work out. So you have to be very thoughtful. You want to get another player who’s younger or can help you in the long-term or draft choices, something that is going to really help the club compete and win a championship again. So, blow it up is a bad word. You’ve got to be strategic and thoughtful."
On whether the owners would tell Ainge not to trade a specific player: "We really listen to Danny. Danny has seen all these players. He watches tape, he watches every player in the league. ... We obviously factor that in, for sure, but Danny is the ultimate decision-maker.He’ll make a recommendation to ownership. Ninety-nine times out of 100, we agree with that recommendation."
On the trade of Kendrick Perkins almost one year later: "As you know, you can do anything with 20/20 hindsight. I’d step back and say the philosophy of the trade was [right]. Danny was trying to get us ready for the stretch run. We were trying to win another championship. The easy way out would have been to do nothing," said Pagliuca. "We needed another scorer. We needed another piece in the puzzle. Shaq was supposed to come back. If all that had come into play, I think we really would have competed.
"I think it was the right thing to do. The greater goal is to win a championship and not just to play it safe. That’s what I like about Danny. ... On paper, looking at it, we would have done it again."
On the Celtics' financial ability to make moves: "We’ve been a tax-paying team for the last five years. We’ve been over the cap. We’ve invested to try to win a championship. The way we look at it is, when we brought Garnett in, we went over the cap, for sure, but you had a chance to win a championship. You can’t go too crazy, but if you really have an inkling that you’re going to win, this is going to be a valuable player, you’ll spend that tax money."
On possible improvements through adding players returning from foreign leagues: "Danny is looking at anything and everything to improve the team. The team has played really well. We’ve won five straight. Garnett had over 20 last [game], he’s looking good. Paul Pierce is looking good. Ray Allen seems ageless. You’ve seen the emergence of Avery Bradley, he’s turned us into the Baltimore Ravens. ... At the end of the game [between the Celtics and Magic], Jameer Nelson was saying to Bradley, ‘C’mon now, you don’t need to keep pressing me.’ He was saying that on the floor. … You’re seeing Avery blossom now. ... The nice thing we have about this roster right now is that nine through 14 it’s one of the best in the league. Our second-team players can beat anyone in the league."
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
Michael Holley and Rich Keefe speak to special teams captain Matthew Slater as the Patriots head to the AFC Championship and host the Steelers.
Michael Holley and Rich Keefe sit down with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as the Patriots prepare to face the Steelers in the AFC Championship on Sunday. Bill hasn't seen the Antonio Brown video, and wasn't interested in discussing social media or the team's policies on it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about their interview with Red Sox Manager John Farrell, the Red Sox approach to breaking up the lefties in the rotation, and the platoon at third base.
Bradford and Tomase talk with Red Sox Manager John Farrell. They talk about Eduardo Rodriguez recovery from his knee injury, the Red Sox third base competition in spring training, and guys playing in the WBC.
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.
Alex's personal life comes up on the show.
Hour 4. Gerry enjoyed Charlotte Wilder's latest article about Tom Brady's new sleepwear. Gerry talks about the range of topics he posts on Twitter. Alex #2 calls in to talk about the breakup.
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry and Alex discuss the reports that Roger Goodell is once again skipping out on visiting Gillette Stadium this weekend.
Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about Aaron Rodgers, who has been on fire to close out the season, and how he compares to Tom Brady and the rest of the top quarterbacks of all time.
Everyone's talking about Antonio Brown live-streaming the Steelers team's post game speech after their win over the Chiefs. We hear from Edelman, Hightower, Brady and a few Steelers.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger both spoke to the media today, and each of them address Antonio Brown's Facebook Live video that called the Patriots a-holes.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the NFL commissioner's plan to once again skip put of going to Foxboro, instead opting to go to the NFC Championship. We discuss it and let you react.
We discuss the Patriots haters out there, led of course this week by Steelers fans. Michael Holley wants to know if we really need their love... and we come up with a better word for it... RESPECT.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss how the Steelers are dealing with this Antonio Brown lockerroom video situation.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Kirk talks with basketball legend Kevin McHale about his Celtics career, as well today's NBA and the current Boston team. Kevin analyzes the theoretical clash of the '86 Celtics and today's Golden State Warriors in addition to how C's heroes of the past would perform in today's game. Also featured: a podcast intro from Kirk's children Cate and Harry.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis get back to post-show work with a Trenni Tuesday recap.
Ben and Josue talk about the moves the Celtics need to make in order for the team get over the top in the Eastern Conference.
Tom Brady joins the show to discuss the game against the Texans, the AFC championship versus the Steelers, his diet, and Roger Goodell.More from this show
Hour 4. Fauria is wrong about Rodgers. Lucy ranked the wives and girlfriends of Patriots players and Trenni isn't happy about it.More from this show
Hour 3. Aaron Rodgers doesn't get along with his family. Trenni's dream man in the Boston media is revealed.More from this show
Hour 1. The Steelers are coming to New England for the AFC Championship and Kirk is picking Pittsburgh to win.More from this show