These are crazy times indeed if you’re a Boston Celtics fan – the Doc Rivers tug-of-war, wondering where KG ultimately lands, the Paul Pierce buyout…and now the reported animosity between Rivers and Rajon Rondo. And, as crazy as it sounds, we may only be getting warmed up. The draft, free agency, decisions on whether patch the current roster or take the metaphorical sledgehammer to the roster…these are the things that will fill the Summer of 2013.
Could it be branded The Summer of Discontent?
Whatever angle you go with, one thing is certain: Danny Ainge is right smack in the middle of it all (which is why he gets paid the big bucks), and his decisions over the next several weeks will set the course for this team for years to come.
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There are critics out there who think it’s time for Ainge to go, that he’s outlived his usefulness as the personnel man in Boston. I’m one of them. Don’t get me wrong – Ainge has a reputation for being a bright guy and shrewd judge of basketball talent. He’s found solid NBA players such as Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger. But for every Bradley there is a Marcus Banks. Trades and free agent pickups? More misses than hits, to be frank. For every Sam Cassell and P.J. Brown, there are players who come and go with little or no impact and with no thought given to the long-term health of the franchise. A me-first Stephon Marbury? A broken down Shaq? A disrespectful Jermaine O’Neal?
I could go on, but you get the point. Ainge, it seems, is more like a college student playing fantasy basketball than a basketball executive getting paid millions to guide one of the biggest sports brands in the world. At times he seems to have no real plan, other than throwing something together and hope that Doc Rivers can make it work.
Supporters point to Ainge orchestrating the 2008 NBA Championship, and the 2010 near miss. Those who do tend to forget that Ainge’s buddy, Kevin McHale, gifted Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. It had nothing to do with NBA business acumen. It was all about working lifelong relationships.
So yes, I’m in the camp that wants to see Ainge out as basketball chief in Boston. IMHO, Danny Ainge Era has run its course.