Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump
Wyc on last summer’s trade with Brooklyn:
“Well it’s a team effort over at the Celtics, not just me making the decisions,” Grousbeck said. “But Danny felt pretty strongly that this was an extraordinary offer and so heard him out and talked to my partners and thought it through. It was a short time window, but we had been prepared or the concept of getting something for these guys. And enabling them to play together on what looked like a great team at the beginning of the year, Brooklyn, wasn’t a small part of it. For me, to give them if you will a soft landing, it’s always about the Celtics, but those guys will be Celtics for life.”
On his hopes for the Celtics’ competitiveness after the trade:
“I had hoped for a better record than this, I know Brad Stevens had hoped for a better record for sure, because he’s a guy that would light himself on fire to win even a quarter of the game much less the whole game,” Grousbeck said. “So we’re about winning around here. It’s not happening for us this year, but we’re going to take a long-term view.”
On Rondo’s future:
“In a sense he already has been,” Grousbeck said. “He’s been here eight or nine years. I should get the number right, but it’s one of those. I can’t imagine the Celtics without him. It’s challenging. There’s a lot of interest in him. He’s going to come up in a year on his free agency. So we’re going to try to keep him. I hope it works out. If it doesn’t work out we’ll go to Plan B. But he’s been great for us, he’s got us a ring, and is now the captain of the team, and I love having him here.”
Grousbeck wouldn’t go into details on what type of contract the Celtics would offer Rondo before or during free agency, due to team policy.
And on big time free agents coming to Boston:
“The more I hear about free agency in Boston and the more that I see all the money that’s – the money in the league has doubled just even since I’ve been here. Everything’s doubled and almost doubled again. There’s tons of money. What these guys don’t have is a ring. If we can get it to a place- we really attracted Kevin Garnett here with a chance to win a championship. You can say technically he wasn’t a free agent, but really technically he was. He didn’t have to come to Boston and he did. So in my opinion KG was a free agent who came to Boston and won a championship. And there are other guys out there that want to win rings, and if they want to win them, I think we have to be in the mix.”
These quotes were taken from an interview during MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which is held annually in the Boston area. If you happen to be interested in the analytics side of basketball (or sports in general) you can find some of the past talks on Youtube. Wyc’s interview was mostly what we’d expect an owner to say, though I was a little surprised to hear him admit to expecting the C’s to have a better record at this point. Obviously 22-42 is pretty terrible, but we all know the story this year. Maybe he’s just trying to prove to fans and the NBA that the Celtics never approached the season with a “tanking” mindset.
Also some more insight into Rondo’s future. It sounds like Boston will try to keep him, but also may resort to “Plan B” if that doesn’t seem like it’ll work out. Whether that decision comes next year of in free agency remains to be seen. So, basically more of the same: Keep Rondo unless we trade him.
Page 2: Larry Bird praises Rondo, Ainge
Executives from other clubs are sometimes hesitant to talk up opposing players, but it’s not surprising that Bird appreciates the way Rondo sees the game and plays the game.
“Yeah, I appreciate the hell out of him,” Bird said. “I don’t know him at all, but in the playoffs he’s showed that he’s one of the better players in our league. It’s unfortunate he got hurt (Rondo returned in January from a torn ACL), but he’s amazing to watch.
“To be able to defend and make plays for other guys, that’s big. He makes a lot of players that are not really good look pretty damn good. And that’s a key.
“If you can make people around you better, it makes you one of the top players in our league.”
On Ainge and draft luck:
“Danny’s really good at this,” he said. “Danny knows what he’s doing. He’s one of the best in the league. He spends a lot of time on it, and he’s got a lot of good help. I’m sure he’ll be fine.
“I never worry about Danny. Danny’s always done well.”
But Bird knows there are no easy paths back to prominence. He is aware that much of what a team would like to accomplish is in the hands of others and, in the case of the draft lottery, the luck of the ping-pong ball draw.
“I know how tough it is,” Bird said. “The thing I’ve always said is that when you key on a couple of players (free agents) and you really go after them, they end up going somewhere else. It makes it tough because you don’t really have any contact with them until right at the time.
“And in the draft, it’s always a crapshoot. You just never know. But if you do your work and really put the time in, then you can figure most of it out.”
Lots of front office talk today, but you can’t just pass up quotes from Bird. Larry’s right on with the difficulties of building a contender: You can start with a great front office and great coach, but that’ll guarantee you nothing. Unless your team exists in places like Los Angeles New York, or Miami, attracting superstars already becomes harder. Convincing them (and their egos) that a place like Boston is worth coming to won’t be easy, and we realize that — which is why many of us are so obsessed with this year’s draft. Larry goes on to mention how the draft is a “crapshoot”, which may be more true this year than ever. A top three pick this summer would likely secure a great talent, but anything outside of that offers few promises. Even Embiid, Wiggins, or Parker could turn out to be busts — there’s no telling how a 19-year-old’s game will translate in the NBA. Crapshoot.
Maybe Larry will help the us out Kevin Mchale style someday soon.
The rest of the links: