After winning it all, alongside Finals MVP Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, Posey was looking for long-term security — which wasn’t something the Celtics were willing to offer in summer 2008.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
James Posey Was ‘Really Disappointed’ By Celtics 1-Year Offer in 2008
In a recent article for Basketballnews.com, Posey penned his displeasure with the “business” side of the NBA.
“This summer, we got great reminders of that fact when guys like Steph Curry, Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid signed huge contracts to stay with their teams,” Posey wrote via Basketballnews.com. “But on the other end of the spectrum, most players — especially the players who aren’t superstars — have those difficult moments where the business of basketball ends up pushing them towards situations that weren’t necessarily their preferred outcome. For me, that moment came after we won the championship in Boston in 2008.”
Following the Allen and Garnett trades, the Celtics offered Posey a one-year deal.
“I was confident in myself and decided to take the one-year deal to play in Boston. I assumed that if I proved that I could be a productive member of the team, the organization would reward me with a multi-year deal closer to my market value,” Posey wrote. “I ended up being wrong. We won the championship, lit the cigars and had the ticker tape parade and all that. And when it was all said and done — you guessed it — I was offered another one-year deal.
“There’s no other way to put it: I was really disappointed. I helped deliver a championship and felt like I proved myself.”
Posey: 2008 Celtics Could Have Won ‘One or Two More’ Championships
Posey still believes the Celtics could have won multiple championships if he and the organization agreed on a long-term deal.
“In my mind, there was no reason why we wouldn’t have been able to win at least one or two more if the squad, including me, was brought back,” Posey added. “But if there’s one thing I learned during my years in the league, it’s this… It’s a business.”
By James’ estimation, most NBA franchises are always willing to spend more money investing into their first championship. But, after that, most will cut costs at the expense of respective role players.
“At the end of the day, everyone wants to win, but winning in the NBA costs money. When most teams win a championship, they start thinking about how they can win by spending less money,” Posey wrote. “And it’s usually players like me who end up getting pinched. So yeah, I wanted to go back to Boston, but when New Orleans stepped up and offered me a four-year deal, my agent felt it was a no-brainer.”
Still, he admits, it wasn’t Boston.
“I was happy as hell with the situation, but not as happy as I would’ve been to stay in Boston and help my team defend the championship,” Posey wrote. “It just didn’t work out that way. For every Steph Curry, there are 100 James Poseys… and 100 P.J. Tuckers. Curry is obviously one of the greatest players of all-time, but without guys like Tucker, teams don’t win.
“Without Tucker this past season, Giannis doesn’t win. And now, P.J. is in Miami.”