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The Boston Celtics, a championship run not seen around here in 16 years, part 2 – John Cardullo

by John Cardullo, sportswriter

No sooner had the duck boats been returned to dry dock, that the green and white confetti was being swept up off the Boston Garden parquet floor and off every street around the city of Boston. Days after, the Celtics were hosted by the Boston Red Sox where they all threw out the first pitch as their victory celebration, or the Boston love-in, continued came the news. It was a good news, bad news, scenario.

The good news was that the Boston Celtics ownership was serious and determined to do what it could to keep this team intact for another championship run for banner number 19, by signing or extending the contracts of virtually every player on the team. Jayson Tatum was signed for a few million dollars less than the owners purchased the entire franchise back in 2000. Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Luke Kornet were all signed, in rapid fire succession. The Celtics were spending money on players like the Boston Red Sox had done in the past, or like the late owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner did in the 1970’s. The tide was high for the Boston Celtics, and they intended on riding that wave for as long as they could! A dynasty was in sight and the team was preparing to make a serious run. Beantown was brimming! The Sox were starting to make some noise giving the boys of summer some hope; the Bruins were making moves of their own during the off-season and the Patriots, well who knows? A new coaching staff, a new quarterback, a new outlook.

Then just like that the news broke, the Boston Celtics were up for sale. Majority owner and team governor, Wycliffe Grousbeck, and his partners (family) decided to sell their share of the team. The Princeton educated, 63-year-old Grousbeck was just days from stirring the Celtic fans into a frenzy. Then the shoe dropped – he was planning on selling to take the money and run.

Looking at the value of the team from when he purchased the team at $315 million dollars to the teams estimated worth now at $4.1 billion dollars, who could blame him? Who would walk away from money like that? The answer to that question is, nobody! Nobody would walk away from money like that. Business people are in it for just that – BUSINESS! Buy low and sell high!

The Celtics fans have an emotional attachment to the team, they have for years and 18 championship banners worth. Over the years the Celtics were often bought and sold by business people, but often there was a common thread holding the team together. Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, Danny Ainge and now Brad Stevens. Proven basketball people always guided the team throughout the years, and the owners? Well, they were the money behind the curtain, they were seen but usually not heard. The only time you saw them publicly was rarely, except after winning the NBA Championship. The fact of the matter is that they were as big as the players in the part they played in the team’s success.

However, the news of the team being up for sale was still a “gut punch” to all Celtics fans. They hadn’t even had a chance to catch their breath. Confetti, parade, guest appearances at Fenway, the NBA draft, the NBA free agency season and the 4th of July all seeming to happen at once. Add into the mix that the Celtics were resigning players at a record pace. No one can blame the fans from getting dizzy from the ride! Riding the roller coaster at Six Flags is what the Celtic fans were experiencing.

But throughout all of this came a bright light, first was that the core group of this team was coming back, and they were coming back for the next few years. The key players that were to march forward making this team into a multi-championship winning franchise will be back. The coaching staff and the front office were also returning. Head coach Joe Mazzulla and Brad Stevens will be at the helm of the team once again. The ownership group will also be returning as it stands now, including Grousbeck. It takes a while to put a multi-billion dollar deal together and Grousbeck will remain the team’s governor until 2028, which is that same year that most of the teams’ core players are under contract until. When you step back and look at the impending sale and when it is estimated to go through, 2028 sounds about right for the “dynasty” to become a reality with this Celtics team. Also, keep in mind that every past owner of the Boston Celtics sold the team along the road and the team has managed to land on their feet.

So everyone should relax, soak up the championship, don’t worry about what we cannot control and celebrate because the 2024-25 season begins in three months, with the Celtics as the defending champions and they will need every fan behind them 100% if they are going to repeat.


John Cardullo, sportswriter. John is a lifelong Rhode Islander. His sports experience is extensive, as a player, coach and sponsor of youth and high school sports. He has been the Public Address Announcer for the CCRI Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams. Both the Cranston East and Cranston West football, Cranston East Boys and Girls basketball for 12 years before moving onto the Central, Juanita Sanchez and Mt. Pleasant football teams. Also, Central HS Boys and Girls Basketball, Scituate High School Boys and Girls Basketball, Johnston High School Girls Basketball, Boys Volleyball, Girls Softball, Boys and Girls Soccer teams, and CLCF football.

John has been involved in Men’s softball for 61 years, starting as a batboy for his father’s team in 1964. He moved to the teams scorekeeper then became a player in 1975, and created the men’s team, Players Corner Pub, that went on to win 20 State Championships in their 35 year history. In the 1990’s he published the statewide softball magazine “The Fielders Choice” which was dedicated to all topics related to adult softball. As a feature writer, John and the publication won several media awards. In 2019 he was elected and inducted into the Rhode Island Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame which he also helped create. John is a softball umpire in Warwick, Rhode Island.

In his spare time John golfs with his life long friends on a weekly basis in season. After retiring from the printing Industry after a 45-year career, he now writes specialty sports columns for

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