Chris Wilcox was an under-the-radar addition to the C’s roster last December when he signed for the mini mid-level exemption with Boston. After battling injuries for his first couple months, Wilcox appeared to be hitting his stride when a heart ailment sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
His contributions did not go unnoticed by Danny Ainge and company, as they brought back Wilcox for a one-year deal two weeks back. This past week, I was able to catch up with the big man to cover a wide array of topics including his health status, why he signed back with the C’s, his relationship with Jeff Green and much more in a exclusive one-on-one interview with CelticsHub.
CelticsHub: First off, I just want to check on your health status. Have you been cleared fully by doctors? And after the surgery, is the heart issue still something that will have to be regularly checked on, or did the procedure solve the issue?
Chris Wilcox: I just finished up my physical and have been cleared by doctors for full contact. [The doctors] tell me I don’t need to do nothing else, just check in and make sure everything is okay. For now though, everything is great. I feel very blessed.
CH: Before the surgery last year, you had seemed to hit your stride with the C’s. Can you talk about how that affected your decision to return?
Wilcox: I started playing well and then the surgery thing came up so I hope to just pick up where I left off. We had a great season last year, but now everyone wants to come back and win a championship. That’s our goal.
CH: How much did it hurt to watch these guys over the final few months of last season, knowing how much you could have helped the undermanned front line with your scoring and rebounding?
Wilcox: It definitely hurt. I was home and had to watch it from afar. They did everything they could to win. I could have been useful for them I feel like and I wish we would have been more healthy between Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and myself. At the end of the day though, it’s a blessing we are all okay and I can get another shot at it.
CH: How did the free agency process go with the C’s this offseason? Can you describe that?
Wilcox: I knew they had to go through the other [free agents] first. I was just waiting on them and seeing where I was going to go. I was like, whenever they came around I was ready to listen.
CH: Have you talked to any of your teammates or other members of the organization this offseason? What have they told you?
Wilcox: I talked to Doc and Danny. They just told me to come back, be ready and keep doing what I was doing last season.
CH: Despite coming close last season before your heart issue, you have now reached 10 NBA seasons with no playoff experience. Can you reflect on how tough that’s been and how you look at breaking that streak next season?
Wilcox: I’m definitely excited to get to the playoffs and win some games. It’s a great group of guys [with the Celtics]. We play hard every night and I think we can move forward next season, to build upon what we did last year.
CH: Can you talk about the fan response you have received since you’ve been in Boston and throughout your recovery?
Wilcox: The fans in Boston have been great through the whole process, tweeting me and letting me know they care. I’m responding to a couple fans on Twitter as well. It’s all love and when I signed back for next season, they showed more love.
CH: Finally, both you and Jeff Green went through similar heart issues last year. Can you just talk about how he helped you during that process? Did you guys get closer because of it?
Wilcox: Jeff and I got a whole lot closer through the whole process. I was looking to him for a lot of it. It’s funny, I was his vet when he first came into the league [in Seattle]. Now, he was my vet through this process, as I was look to him for advice. He’s doing well now, I’m on my way as well so all signs are pointing forward in regards to progress.