With the NBA preseason starting tonight, the Celtics have some new faces, but the same attitude — bring home the banner.
After falling one game short of becoming 18-time NBA champs in 2009-10, the Celts had two options: Let the veterans walk, or bring them back and reload for another run.
Team president Danny Ainge chose the latter, resigning Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels, while bringing in big-name players Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Delonte West.
On paper, the additions make the C’s a legit threat to the Lakers, Heat, Magic and other favorites.
“We have a lot of personalities, there’s no doubt about that,” Doc Rivers said at the team’s media day. “Having said that, I think this is the most talented group we’ve had as far as depth on the bench.”
With the Big Three a year older, it was important for the C’s to stack the bench with players capable of carrying the load while the starters rest.
“We do have enough in the tank, I believe,” Rivers said. “I think what helps us more than anything is we have five other guys who can come off the bench and help us win games.”
Regardless, the new look Celtics are eager to settle some unfinished business.
“I think that the loss last year was pretty tough,” Ainge said. “I think our guys have the right approach and I think they’re pretty hungry this year.”