Celtics Owner ‘Rejects’ Notion Of Tanking, Hoping For ‘Building’ Season

Wyc GrousbeckThe 2014 Boston Celtics offseason will be defined by “fireworks” — or, as it’s looking like so far, lack thereof.

That term has been written and discussed countless time since Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck first uttered it back in March, and during that time, Grousbeck believes his words might have been twisted a bit.

“No, if you go back and look at what I said, I said we were hoping for fireworks. I didn’t promise them,” Grousbeck said Monday in an interview with The Boston Globe’s Christopher Gasper. “We tried as hard as we could. July 4 has come and gone, but there is still a lot of effort and hope that eventually with all those first-round picks and other possible assets that at some point I would imagine something would happen, whether it’s this year or next.

“Our effort level on improving the team has been extraordinary, and (president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) and his staff and (head coach Brad Stevens) have worked essentially around the clock to improve the roster. We’ve made some progress. I’m very happy with the effort. I’m still hoping for more improvement, either this year or next, because I’m impatient to get back to the level we were at.”

The Celtics have been relatively active this summer, drafting two intriguing young players in Marcus Smart and James Young, adding Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and another future first-rounder in the deal that help pave LeBron James’ road back to Cleveland and bringing in talented-yet-underperforming swingman Evan Turner through free agency.

The team has not made the big splash (read: Kevin Love) some fans were hoping for, though, leaving many on Causeway Street making preparations for another season in the cellar. Grousbeck is making no promises about the Celtics’ success in the upcoming campaign, but don’t let him hear you accuse his team of “tanking.”

“I’m not calling it that, and I reject that phrase,” he told Gasper. “We hired a coach who would literally light himself on fire to win any five-minute segment of any game, never mind the whole game, so that’s how we played last year.

“… I’m really looking forward to the year. I’d like it to be a building year. Brad is a great coach. I’m glad he is here. He has brought a lot of knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm to the organization. I want to see him succeed. He deserves success in the NBA. I hope we can give him a roster that will get him there.”

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