As reported by the Herald:
“We were being Belichickian,” Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck said of the infamously covert Pats coach. “We had a great example to follow with the New England Patriots, and we were following their World Championship lead.”
Grousbeck said last week that a heavy dose of gamesmanship went into the trickle of information - or misinformation - regarding Garnett. It might have paid a small playoff dividend to leave opponents - and the media - wondering whether Garnett was coming back, even when the team apparently knew better. . . .
The truth, according to Grousbeck, is the team’s medical staff knew exactly what it would find during the operation on Garnett’s knee last week.
Though Danny Ainge, the executive director of basketball operations, said last week that surgeons “did not have to touch” the tendon during arthroscopic surgery, the inflamed muscle indeed was caused by the bone spur, according to Grousbeck.
Though everyone from Ainge to Doc Rivers intimated during the playoffs that the two knee issues may not be related - that the inflamed tendon somehow was independent of the bone spur - the Celtics managing partner said everyone knew the truth.
“There was no mystery about the problem,” he said. “The only mystery was how (Garnett) was going to be able to do something on it. We just didn’t feel like sharing that with the media at the time.
“It was just a matter of declining to comment on it. I mean, he did come back to play four (regular-season) games, and I believe that he might have tried to play against Cleveland if we had made it that far.
“But this all threw our opponents into some confusion about what was happening.”
I don't know how I feel about this. The gamesmanship obviously didn't get the Celtics very far; how much better did they do than if they had just been candid? I doubt any opposing team's preparation was affected in the least by KG's absence; they no doubt prepared as if he was going to be there, but also spent time game-planning for BBD (gameplan: let him shoot from outside).
In the meantime, Doc and Danny repeatedly lied to the fans. Wyc may distinguish this by saying that the team misled the "media", but that's semantics; he was deliberately misleading the fan base, many of whom live and die with the team.From the interview, it makes it sound like he thinks the team was being clever. However, while Belichick may be coy with the media, I don't remember too many times when he, the coaching staff, and the GM directly lied to the fans about a player's injury.
Also, of course, I wonder how candid the team was with the players. Paul Pierce, at least, was tweeting about KG returning all the way up through the regular season finale. Did this strategy affect team preparation, even in the slightest degree? If so, it was a miscalculation.
Certainly, it's not a huge deal. However, I'm also not sure that this is something to be bragging about. At least from my perspective, I wish this is one team secret that Wyc had kept to himself.