Celtics

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca 'almost crashed my car' when he heard of Kemba's interest

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca 'almost crashed my car' when he heard of Kemba's interest

This offseason, the Boston Celtics were in a state of flux. With the impending departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, it seemed that the team was entering a rebuilding phase in which they would have to build around their young talent.

Instead, the team was able to retool. That was largely thanks to Kemba Walker's interest in joining the team. Walker's interest surprised their co-owner, Steve Pagliuca, who shared how he reacted when he heard the news.

"I almost crashed my car when I heard that," Pagliuca said, per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe.

It's easy to understand why Pagliuca was so surprised. Walker, who had spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets, could've gotten a supermax to stay put with the Hornets. Instead, he wanted to join a winner and evidently was impressed with the Celtics.

Walker should be the perfect replacement for Kyrie Irving and should help to build better chemistry in a locker room that dealt with numerous issues last year. And Walker's addition plus the acquisition of rookies Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters has done a lot to transform the Celtics' personality, as Pagliuca noted.

"There’s just really a positive attitude from everybody this year," Pagliuca said, per Yang. "We’ve got a bunch of hard-working players that really want to achieve. We couldn’t ask for anything more."

After last season, that should be refreshing to Celtics fans, especially if they can stay competitive in what should be a wide-open Eastern Conference outside of the favored No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks.

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The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

Everyone has a great Kevin Garnett story. And Enes Kanter's pretty much sums up how intensely committed KG was to winning.

The Boston Celtics forward recently ran into Garnett in Boston at the regional premiere of "Uncut Gems," a new movie Garnett stars in with Adam Sandler.

According to Kanter, Celtics lead owner Wyc Grousbeck also was at the premiere and told Kanter of the first time Garnett walked into TD Garden after being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Celtics in the summer of 2007.

Here's Kanter with NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg on the latest episode of "The Enes Kanter Show:"

(Grousbeck) told me a story. He said, "When KG came to the Celtics, he stopped and looked at every (championship) banner for 30 minutes. For 30 minutes. And he studied (them). ... Before he came (to Boston), we had 16 banners. So, that's 30 minutes for every banner. And it's like, 'How do you spend that much (time)?' 

As Forsberg pointed out, that's essentially eight hours of Garnett staring at the TD Garden rafters and soaking in the franchise's rich history.

That may have been some hyperbole on Grousbeck's part, but if anyone would be that maniacally focused on success, it's the uber-competitive Garnett.

"Anybody else, I would be like, 'That's an exaggerated tale,' " Forsberg said, "but I can actually believe that with KG."

Garnett's commitment to winning paid off instantly, as the Celtics raised banner No. 17 to the rafters in his first season with the team in 2007-08.

Kanter and Forsberg also discussed what makes Garnett such a great trash talker, how his current minutes situation differs from his time with the New York Knicks, what the Celtics' chemistry is like on this team and much more.

Hear more from Kanter and Forsberg on Episode 5 of "The Enes Kanter Show," which drops every Wednesday on YouTube and the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

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NBC Sports Boston Illlustration

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

Al Horford makes his return to TD Garden Thursday night in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform. How will the former Celtics big man be received now that's he joined one of Boston's key rivals in the East?

That's just one of the many storylines ahead of Philly's first game in Boston and the first meeting for the teams since the Sixers easily defeated the Celtics back on opening night in late October. 

Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg talk about it in the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast. 

"It should be all love," said Draper, "but let's keep it real: The way Horford went about it, some people aren't happy about it. It sounds like him and the Sixers had some kind agreement before you're allowed to actually talk. I get the sense that they [the Celtics] were caught off guard a little bit."

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Earlier in the podcast, Forsberg is joined by Sixers reporter Serena Winters from NBC Sports Philly to talk about all things 76ers, including Ben Simmons, Horford's veteran influence on the team and where Boston and Philadelphia are now as compared to the opener. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.