Wyc Grousbeck on D&C: ‘I want Miami to lose so badly’
|05.25.11 at 9:56 am ET|
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning during a charity benefit for the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
After the Celtics lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Grousbeck was asked if he is still watching the playoffs. “I am watching this year because I want Miami to lose so badly,” he said, adding “I’m rooting hard against the Heat.”
Grousbeck said he will be rooting for the Mavericks the rest of the way because of his relationship with Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Said Grousbeck: “I love the guy. … He’s just a good guy. He genuinely roots for us against other teams. He is a Celtics fan when he’s not a Mavs fan. And we’re going to return the favor.”
Grousbeck did give the Heat credit. “I thought they outplayed us in the series,” he said. “They had more juice. They had more pop. I can’t really deny that. I would have loved to take that Monday night game in Boston and make it 2-2 and see what happened. I think we might have won the thing. But I don’t really regret with like a huge missed chance. I’m just annoyed we didn’t beat them.”
When asked about the trade of Kendrick Perkins, Grousbeck said he felt Perkins was not the difference in losing to the Heat. “I love Perk, but I don’t think our issue was guarding their 5 spot,” he said. “Our issue was guarding their 2, 3 and 4. So, not only did we need Jeff Green, we needed about three more of him.”
Grousbeck played down the chemistry factor. “We had gotten that far in the season without Perk. He hadn’t played essentially the entire season,” Grousbeck said. “So, we were starting the games with [Shaquille O'Neal] and finishing the games with [Glen Davis]. And that would have continued in the playoffs if Perk was there. So, Perk wouldn’t have been starting if Shaq had been healthy.
“Where the plan fell short is Shaq not being able to come back; we thought he could.”
Grousbeck reiterated that Perkins most likely would have been gone after the season anyway. “He had already rejected our maximum offer to him, so he was gone,” Grousbeck said. “At this point now, we have the rights to Jeff Green that we will pick up and extend, and we have a first-round pick from the Clippers in a year or two, hopefully. So, we’ve got some assets that we wouldn’t have had.”
Speaking about the re-signing of Doc Rivers, Grousbeck said, “We built up to the ’07-08 season by going through a couple of tough years and playing the kids, and coaching them up, and he was willing to do that. I just looked at him with my partners and said this is the guy we really want, we don’t want to be interviewing a bunch of other guys, this is the guy, we’d like to have him stay.
“He had a good year this year, it wasn’t as wearing on him as last year I think way. Last year he was pretty beat up. This year, he seemed to be excited. We all collectively decided let’s make him this offer. I thought we ought to do it during the week off between New York and Miami — go ahead and get it done so we’re not in this bidding war with the Lakers and everything else at the end of the season. And he said, ‘Yeah, I’m a Celtic. I love it.’ ”
Grousbeck also touched on Rivers’ relationship with Danny Ainge. “He and Danny are two peas in a pod. They respect one another, they make trades together, they approve trades together. It’s a good working relationship. It really is.”
Grousbeck acknowledged that the Celtics need to add some pieces for next year, but they will have to do it through a sign-and-trade since they are over the cap and can’t rely on free agency.
Said Grousbeck: “I think we ought to look at keeping these guys together and adding two or three pieces if we can aggressively, whether we can spend more money on other people — that’s been done before. We hit people over the head with the wallet club — $60 million to [Paul] Pierce, $100 million to [Kevin] Garnett, $40 million to [Ray] Allen, extending [Rajon] Rondo, extending Doc. We basically say, ‘Come here, we’re a big-market team. That’s the way we run this thing.’ So, if we can hit some people over the head again this summer, we’ll do it.”
Asked about who the Celtics could use as trade bait, Grousbeck said: “That could be future draft picks, trade somebody. We’ve got a bunch of guys we could sign and trade.”
Pressed about which current member of the team might be traded, Grousbeck said: “I love the Big Three, the Big Four. I love those guys. I think the fans love seeing them together. I haven’t heard anything from Doc or Danny [Ainge] or anybody else about anything we’re planning to do.”
Grousbeck said that the Big Three have another run in them, they just need a better supporting cast. “They needed more help at the end, so we obviously need more help for next year, I’ll at least say it that way,” he said. “These guys aren’t going to get younger next year. They’re quality guys. They know how to play together. We’ve got to get them some help.”