Lately I've been flipping through my copy of Peter May's "Top of the World" - which tracks the Celtics' Championship season. Mostly I've been looking at the offseason notes from the summer of 2007 to get a better behind the scenes look at how the Celtics conduct business. There's a lot there, but two items jumped out to me.
First was Wyc's involvement in the KG trade. Basically he drew a line in the sand and kept Rondo. At some point the negotiations with Minnesota were handed off from the GMs to the owners.
"Glen called and said, 'Give us Rondo and the deal is done. You'll be the talk of the league. You'll have Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, and you'll be the favorites to win it all. But you have to give us Rondo"
That's pretty straightfoward right? But Wyc knew how much Ainge valued Rondo and refused. Eventually he agreed to pay part of Telfair's salary and after some nervous moments he got the call that they had a deal.
The other moment that was telling was the James Posey situation. It turns out that before signing with the Celtics, Posey actually made the decision to join the New Jersey Nets.
"It was basically a done deal," he said. "I was just frustrated, a lot was going on in my mind, and I wanted it to be over, so I just said, screw it. I remember it was on a Saturday and I called my agent and told him to call New Jersey and tell them I was coming. He said 'Are you sure? I'll give you some more time.' He mentioned Boston."
Then Posey heard from Eddie House, who said flatly, "Pose, what are you doing?"
Then Doc and the coaching staff got him on the phone and wouldn't let him off till he was convinced.
Anyway, what I wanted to get across is that a lot of stuff happens that we don't hear about and you never know till long after the fact just how close we were to not having the team that we did that year. There's a lot of preparation, research, negotiation, and skill that goes into the offseason maneuvers. However, clearly there's a lot of luck involved too.