Celtics’ Danny Ainge, General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, is retiring after 18 years in Boston. Current head coach Brad Stevens will taking over as president of basketball operations.
Ainge reflects on history in Boston
In the Boston Celtics’ 74-year history, Ainge is the only member to win championships both as a player and as general manager.
Once a Celtic, always a Celtic ☘️ pic.twitter.com/NObi7iGHus
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 2, 2021
During his time in Boston, he has led the team to 15 playoff appearances, seven Eastern Conference Finals, two NBA Finals, and brought the franchise’s 17th championship.
When commenting on his decision to retire with media, he points back to the difficulty working in the NBA bubble during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, he feels it is the right time for the team to move forward.
“This is not a this-moment, this-season decision. This is well thought-out much before that. I’ve always trusted my instincts. And my instincts have told me that this is the right time for me and my family and for the Boston Celtics,” he said.
Ainge touched on his confidence in the future of the Celtics and believes the team is in good hands with Stevens.
He does wish the team would have finished the year on a much better note. Boston’s season ended after they fell to the Nets 123-109 in Game-5, eliminating the Celtics from the 2021 NBA playoffs.
But he does feel there is much hope in the Celtics going forward. Looking ahead, he plans to work with the team on the transition throughout the offseason.
Stevens Takes New Role
Stevens has served as head coach of the Celtics for the past eight seasons. Since his hire, he has led the team to a 354-282 record that includes seven consecutive playoffs and three appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Reflecting on his work with Ainge, who hired Stevens in 2013, he feels prepared to assume his role in the front office.
“We’ve been through a lot together. At the same time, I think I’ve got a good idea of the benefits of moving into this new role. I’ve got a good idea of what we do and don’t do well, and what can accentuate some of our best players. There’s a lot of work to do, there’s a lot of work ahead,” said Stevens.
When he sat down with media to comment on his new role, he explained how he did not want to keep both jobs as he wants to put all of his focus into rebuilding the depleted team. He knows there is a lot of work ahead, but his first plan of action is to hire a strong coach to fill in the gaps.
Expectations for next coach to lead Celtics
In the meantime, Stevens is leading the search for head coach prospects. As he hopes to fill the shoes of Ainge, he said he wants to find the best prospect to fill his own shoes.
As Ainge was an architect in rebuilding the Celtics franchise, Stevens should have a good head start in constructing a new era by following his lead.