Fans rejoice at the prospect of more open communication, but NBA players are not so enthusiastic.
The “It Pained Me” to have to throw Danny Ainge out of the locker room is a phrase that has been used by a lot of people. It was said by Kevin Garnett when he had to leave the Boston Celtics in 2008.
Wyc Grousbeck, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, didn’t expect to win another title this year. He wants another, but he thinks it will take a couple of years with a new coach in Ime Udoka and Brad Stevens going to the front office.
Following a tough start to the season, the Celtics have had multiple celebrations as they go into the playoffs. The first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, the elimination of the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, and the upset of the top-seeded Miami Heat were all reasons to rejoice. After they meet the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in 2022, they’re aiming for one more celebration.
Grousbeck recently told Boston radio station WEEI that he is relishing every minute as his crew gets closer to erecting Banner 18. He did admit, though, that removing former Celtics president Danny Ainge from the locker room during one of those celebrations was “painful.”
Wyc Grousbeck confessed that he didn’t anticipate the Boston Celtics to make such a swift turnaround.
Before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 9, 2022, the Celtics’ Derrick White (left), club owner Wyc Grousbeck (right), and Jayson Tatum (background center) are photographed heading down the corridor to the visitor’s locker room. | Getty Images/Jim Davis/The Boston Globe
The Celtics’ first season under Udoka got off to a shaky start. After ending the 2020-21 season with a 36-36 record, Boston made significant adjustments. After the season, Ainge resigned. Stevens, who coached the club for eight years, took over as general manager in lieu of Ainge. Stevens assisted in the hiring of Udoka as the new head coach.
Grousbeck expected this season to be more of a feel-out year because of the musical chairs. When the Celtics were 25-25 after 50 games, it seemed to be more of the same. Grousbeck spoke about his expectations for the start of the season in March.
“Just to be completely honest, transparent, which I always do, but just to really nail it down, in the offseason, when Ime and Brad were in place, I met with them,” Grousbeck then during an appearance on WEEI in Boston. “I said I’m not freaked out about this year. Ime, you’re gonna be a first-year head coach. You don’t need to get off to some amazing start. This year doesn’t have to be a record-setting year.”
Grousbeck, Stevens, and Udoka kept their cool. At the trade deadline, Stevens made a couple of smart moves. The Celtics have won 26 of their past 32 games in the regular season.
“What I want to do is win another ring while we’re in our peak years – in the next five years,” Grousbeck said. “With Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson, we’ve got the makings” (Tatum). We have Marcus (Smart) and Rob (Williams), and hopefully they can continue to improve and Rob can continue to progress, as he has.
“But I said don’t do anything this year because it’ll be a Band-Aid for the next four years.” This seems like something we’re going to develop into. It’s now on fire, and has been for the last several months or so. “Everyone is in high spirits.”
Grousbeck joked lately that he had to eject Ainge from the locker room.
Grousbeck returned to WEEI this week to discuss the team’s achievements and their impending matchup with the Warriors. In addition, he discussed Ainge’s return to TD Garden. When the Celtics beat the Bucks, Ainge, who works as a front-office executive for the Utah Jazz, was in Boston.
After all the effort Ainge put in to help construct this club, the Celtics owner joked about how much it pained him to ask him to leave the locker room.
This week, Grousbeck remarked of Ainge, “He was very crucial when he was here.” “It hurt me a lot to have to threaten to kick him out of the locker room when he showed up in Milwaukee.
“I’m sorry, visitors are not permitted in this locker area,” she says. You are a member of the Utah Jazz. That was a great deal of pleasure. We were all laughing quite hard. I hated having to kick him out of the locker room.”
Grousbeck discussed how important Ainge was to the Celtics’ current success.
Grousbeck remarked, “Brad recognized Ime as a high contender for the coaching role.” “It all started with Danny.” Obviously, Marcus Smart and Jaylen and Jayson were drafted. We signed Al (Horford) as a free agent. That’s pretty much the backbone of this group right now. It was evidently put together under Danny’s supervision.
“Last year, he bailed out on his own terms. So seeing him attempt to obtain a pass into the locker area is much nicer now. However, we adore Danny. We will always do so. He’ll always be a Celtic.”
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Why Does Jayson Tatum Pull His Ears Before Every Boston Celtics Game?
Danny Ainge is the current president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. He was also a player on the Celtics team that won the 2008 NBA Championship. He had to leave in 2010 due to health reasons and he has gone on to coach with the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and most recently, with the Utah Jazz. Reference: how old is danny ainge.
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