The Last Twenty: How NBA Finals loss motivated Celtics ownership originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
From team ownership to the coaching staff to the players, the 2022-23 Boston Celtics are unified by a singular goal.
The Celtics greatly exceeded expectations last season by reaching the 2022 NBA Finals. But after falling in six games to the Golden State Warriors, this group is hungrier than ever to return to the NBA mountaintop and finish what it started.
That hunger is evident to Celtics co-owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, who gave president of basketball operations Brad Stevens the green light to spend this offseason and acquire key pieces like Danilo Gallinari and Malcolm Brogdon.
"I think the team is even better now than it was last year," Pagliuca said in an interview for NBC Sports Boston's "The Last Twenty," which documents Grousbeck and Pagliuca's 20-year run as co-owners of the franchise.
"They came very close to tasting that championship -- this close, and now they really want it. So I think we're going to see an incredible year out of those guys."
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart have all spoken at length about how much they're motivated by that 2022 Finals loss. But that hasn't stopped Grousbeck by adding fuel to the fire by making sure the players see him wearing his 2008 Celtics championship ring.
"We don't hesitate to wear our rings around them," Grousbeck said. "I wear mine at every game. People know what it looks like, and they're like, 'Wow.'"
Check out the video above to hear more from Grousbeck and Pagliuca, who are entering their 20th year leading the Celtics after purchasing the franchise in 2002.