The Boston Celtics officially announce the purchase of the Maine Red Claws.
Excitement was in the air as executives met in Portland yesterday. The news became official as members from the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws front offices came together at the Portland Expo Center to officially announce the Celtics ownership of the Red Claws.
There was some worry among Portland natives that the G League organization was going to pack up its boxes, load up the moving truck and head south for central Massachusetts. The fears were soon put to rest as Wyc Grousbeck said, “This is Maine. This is Portland. This is where we are,” and the sighs of relief could be heard from Portland to Caribou.
What was once barely thought of, the G League has become increasingly important to the NBA. Two-way contracts have a lot to do with that. Now with the ownership of its parent league, the Red Claws fans will see a lot more talent in these upcoming years, and the players will have a much more seamless transition to the NBA. Austin Ainge commented during the festivities yesterday, “An evolutionary step – not night and day – but slowly get better at offering everything we can from the Celtics side to the players here.” It’s a win-win in my opinion. I’m expecting to see more coaching influence, player development and all around Celtics feel when I walk through the Expo doors this season.
“Tacko Mania” has certainly taken over Boston, but I can assure you, as a Portland area resident, the “Main-eia” has not stopped. I’ve heard rumors that the Red Claws ticket sales are already going through the roof, and I for one plan to be there for the home opener on November 15th.
Tacko isn’t the only reason Mainers are lining up at the ticket counter. We’re excited to see the talents of Tremont Waters and what the new coach, Darren Erman will do with the team as well. Tremont is a young talent that will lift not only the Red Claws, but the entire G League to a new level. After watching him during the preseason, fans are ready for some great competition in Maine.
Coach Erman is known as a defensive specialist, which will certainly make it easier for players transitioning up to Brad Stevens’ system. It’s great when your players make shots, but it’s even better when they stop their opponents from getting theirs. Coach Erman, you’ve got my support and I’m pretty sure all of Celtics Nations as well.
The G League makes the game of basketball more accessible to every fan. I really hope we will see an increase of interest in the G Leagues across the country. If other organizations take the vested interest and care that the Celtics have in their minor league teams, we should see that in no time.