Wyc Grousbeck was devastated by the Game That Must Not Be Named, just like we were. He then watched the Miami Heat put together a so-called Super Team, just like we did. He heard Jeff Van Gundy claim the Heat would break every win mark ever set, just like we heard. He saw the Heat’s celebratory WWE Event party, where Lebron predicted eight — yes, eight — championships, just like we saw.
Unlike us, Wyc could actually do something about it.
“We were already going to try and get better, get tougher,” Grousbeck told CSNNE.com. “But then the Miami thing just took it to a new level.”
You know the rest. The Celtics put together a 2000 All-Star team, then sprinkled Von Wafer and Delonte West on top. Chemistry could still be a problem, some analysts say. But Wyc doesn’t agree. He believes the same thing that draws quality free agents to Boston, a complete dedication to winning, should keep the newcomers in check.
“What encourages guys like that is being on the court with [star] players . . . every day and see how they do it right,” Grousbeck said. ” ‘I played with Ray Allen, and I know how to do it right. I’ll get to Game Three early and shoot 250 shots.’ If these guys are successful, they started off doing it right with [coach] Doc Rivers and his players.”
He continued, “The Big Three (Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce) came together with [Rajon] Rondo and [Kendrick Perkins] and have two Finals appearances, so that’s the core of the team. Guys coming in are going to adapt to that core. And they’re coming in because of that core. Shaq is coming in because of the way we play basketball here.” (Note: Shaq is also coming in because of a comment Kobe made. “The minute I heard Kobe’s remarks about having one more ring than Shaq,” Grousbeck said, “I said to Danny, ‘Go get Shaq!’” I love it. If you hate Kobe, the Celtics hate you. Common enemy equals a friend of me.)
I see where Wyc’s coming from. I do. A winning attitude certainly begets winning attitudes. You’ve seen it with the Celtics and Nate Robinson, and the New England Patriots have demonstrated it time after time (small comments regarding being unloved aside, who would have thought Randy Moss would be such a team player?).
But how much crazy is too crazy? The Celtics bench is talented, absolutely, but it could also double as an obscene psychology experiment. With such an eccentric roster, this year is going to be a true test of leadership, the existing values in the C’s locker room, and Doc Rivers’ patience.
Not that I’m unexcited. Give me talent any day of the week, because talent wins games. But as the Celtics have demonstrated the past three years, talent only becomes scary, only forges into a true contender, when it has one common goal. A championship.
Anything else would be uncivilized.