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Celtics owners Steve Pagliuca, Wyc Grousbeck on D&C: ‘We’re going for it’ 12.21.11 at 5:04 pm ET
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Celtics owners Steve Pagliuca and Wyc Grousbeck stopped by to chat with D&C guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Wednesday morning and discussed the upcoming season, Rajon Rondo‘s mindset, and why this could be the best Celtics team Danny Ainge has put together.

After the Celtics’ disappointing loss at the hands of LeBron James and the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the owners expressed optimism about the C’s fortunes for the shortened 2011-12 season.

“It’s going to be a frenetic season, obviously packed in, a lot of games,” Pagliuca said. “The good news for us is that we have a veteran core, but we’ve got a lot of young legs on the team. Danny’s done another great job of building this squad. It’s a very deep team, and that deep team will pay service. Also, with a short training camp, we have four veterans coming back. They know the offense; we have veterans coming in. Doc [Rivers] will have them in very good shape to play.”

Added Pagliuca: “The positive side early is that the team has a lot of depth. One through 15 we’re about as good as we’ve been. If you look at the players Danny’s added here, they can all play basketball. We’re going to get some offensive rebounding this year with [Chris] Wilcox and [Brandon] Bass on the boards, so we’re optimistic. It’s really early in the season, but so far they’ve looked really good.”

Grousbeck said the decision was made to stick with the Big Three and build around them for another shot at the title, holding off any rebuilding plans.

“We do think about the future every day. We really, really do,” Grousbeck said. “But this does look like another year when this core has a chance. And if we supplement them to the max, everything we can possibly do under the new rules, it looks like to us, and more importantly to the basketball staff, that these guys have one more chance at least. So, you make that decision and you put the throttle fully that way. We’re not halfway. … It wasn’t a bad team last year. This year it looks like we can have a chance. Shortened season, almost anything can happen. So, we’re going for it.”

Added Grousbeck: “It has been a shortened preseason. There hasn’t been a lot of chance to really settle in with this team yet, this roster, and see it, and get a sense of other rosters as well. Having said that, every time I see [Kevin] Garnett, [Paul] Pierce, [Ray] Allen, and Rondo walk out on the court and Rivers coaching them, I get goose bumps, actually. So, I’m hopeful, and we’ll see.”

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Steve Pagliuca on D&C: ‘Put the emotions aside,’ and deal is good for C’s 02.25.11 at 9:21 am ET
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Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show and guest hosts Mike Adams and Bob Halloran on Friday morning to talk about the C’s flurry of moves before Thursday’s trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The big trade was Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Pagliuca said he has confidence president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made the right call.

“I have mixed emotions,” Pagliuca said. “I loved Kendrick Perkins as a person and a player, and he helped us get a championship. So, that’s the tough part of the sports business. You’ve got to try to make the club better if you have opportunities. Danny’s done a great job at that over the last eight years, since we’ve been here. He assessed that this was something that would be great for the short run to help us win a championship again, and the longer run.

“I think it could be a win-win for both clubs. Because their club is full of shooters and they need somebody tough inside, and there’s nobody tougher than Kendrick. We picked up a guy, Jeff Green, who was drafted fifth, averaging 15 points a game, he can play the 3, the 4, maybe even the 2 at times. And Nenad Krstic, who’s a great shooter, which really balances [Rajon] Rondo out. Rondo will have a free lane now, because they’ve got to go out and cover Nenad, because he can hit the shot.”

Added Pagliuca: “Danny, again, I think has done a great job. Put the emotions aside — because he loves Kendrick as well — but this will be good for the club.”

The C’s also traded Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to the Cavaliers for a draft pick and shipped the injured Marquis Daniels to the Kings for another pick. This leaves some questions at the center position, as Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal remain sidelined with injuries. Pagliuca said that should turn around soon, as the Celtics’ bench will become a major strength.

“We got two starting players — one averaging 15 points a game; I think Kristic is averaging close to 10 — so, yeah, it’s going to make us very deep,” he said. “And on top of that, Shaq is working really hard to come back, and Jermaine is looking good; I saw him on the bike the other day. If all the things go our way, we’re going to have a very deep team going into the playoffs. And I think that’s what Danny wanted to accomplish.”

The other question concerns the toughness the Celtics lost with the departure of Perkins. “We’ve got a lot of tough players,” Pagliuca said. “Shaq’s a pretty tough player, and he’s coming back. He’s pretty tough in the paint there. [Glen Davis] is a tough player. Baby can bang with anybody. Krstic is also a fighter. He’s no wallflower as well. … He’s a fiery player and he wants to win. So, I think we’re going to be very tough and our guys will bring it up a notch.”

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Pagliuca falls short in Senate bid 12.08.09 at 9:44 pm ET
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Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca’s bid to secure the Democratic nod for the open U.S. Senate seat came to an apparent end on Tuesday night when Martha Coakley won in a runaway.

Pagliuca and Alan Khazei were neck-and-neck for third behind Coakley and Democratic runner-up Michael Capuano.

On the Republican side, Scott Brown, whose daughter Ayla is a senior on the Boston College women’s basketball team, cruised to victory in his primary.

Coakley will square off against Brown on Jan. 19 to fill the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy.

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Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6 10.06.09 at 11:38 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s preseason preparations as the C’s get set to play the Houston Rockets in Hidaglo, Texas, on Wednesday night.

Following is a complete transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

rivers_docDo you worry about your guys … when you make a trip like that [to Hidalgo, Texas, on the Mexico border]?

I worry more about [Greg] Dickerson doing it than our players. I’m hoping he actually goes and we can steal his passport so he can’t come back.

No, you do worry about it. Guys like going over and having fun or whatever. We have great guys, and we’ll talk to them about it so you’re not that concerned. But you’d rather [they] not be there, let’s put it that way.

Give us several significant highlights to camp at this point. What are we missing here so far?

I think Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis Daniels, they really have solidified our bench. It’s a veteran bench, very similar to two years ago. Rasheed’s ability to stretch the floor will be amazing when he plays with [Kendrick Perkins] or Kevin [Garnett], it doesn’t really matter which one he plays with, he still stretches the floor, he has the ability to take 5s out. And Marquis Daniels, he’s really good for our team. He’s a small forward, he plays 2 guard as well. From his position, he can handle the ball, and that frees up Eddie [House]. The old point forward — if you remember the Paul Pressey days in Milwaukee, where he handled the ball, and then Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson and those guys came off picks. Well, it will be very similar to us with the second team.

Is Rasheed going to be beloved here in Boston?

Yeah. The one thing we knew about Rasheed was the fact that his teammates that he’s played for loved him. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s one of the more verbal talkers on defense in the league — him and Kevin. And it’s amazing. During camp, I have a lot of college coaches come in and they watch camp. And that’s the one thing they keep saying is — well, there’s two things: “Boy, your bigs have a chance to be really good.” The second thing is, “I’ve never seen a team talk as much on defense, especially Rasheed, Perk and Kevin.” So, those are the things they’ll notice. But they’ll love him. I’m sure there will be a couple of nights where he’ll get into an exchange with someone else in stripes, and we’re going to have to deal with that. But that’s not going to be an issue, in my opinion.

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Scalabrine Supports Pagliuca’s Senate Run 09.17.09 at 8:09 pm ET
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Brian Scalabrine understands the importance of a strong campaign. Over the last few years fans have lobbied on Facebook to vote the Celtics forward to the All-Star team. Although Scalabrine never won the vote, he thinks he has a good eye for a deserving candidate.

On Thursday Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca announced his candidacy in the special election for the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s vacant seat, and Scalabrine is already on board.

“I back him 100 percent,” Scalabrine said following the USI Shamrock Classic at the Nashawtuc Country Club inn Concord. “I feel like he’s the kind of guy that’s going to go out there and get things done. From a position in the state of Massachusetts right now, that’s what you’re going to want — people that are going to get things done.”

Scalabrine has experienced Pagliuca’s accomplishments firsthand. He is among a group of Celtics who won an NBA championship following a 24-win season the previous year. The organization’s instant turnaround is just one reason why Scalabrine believes Pagliuca can achieve positive change.

“[He got] Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the same team. You think that stuff’s easy to do? No. To do that you have to be thoughtful, ahead of your time, and that’s him,” Scalabrine said. “Obviously he’s not the only guy, but if you’re a Senator you’re not the only guy making decisions, you’ve got people working underneath you. And how about just the ability to buy the Celtics? How about that? I mean to have that ability to do that, that’s something special in itself.”

Less than an hour after Pagliuca announced his candidacy, Scalabrine already had a campaign in mind.

“I got a sign going in my front yard. For sure,” he said. “It’s big, big like a billboard. It says like this: ‘Pags for Senator. My name is Brian Scalabrine and I approve this message,’ and it can have my face on it.”

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