top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #44: Danny Ainge

Here's the first thing: Danny Ainge was a GREAT athlete. He's the only person to be first-team All-American in basketball, football, and baseball. His Oregon High School hoops team won two state championships with Ainge as the star. At BYU he earned honors as the national player of the year (scoring in double figures in 112 straight games, then a record). At the same time, he played three seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays in Major League Baseball batting .220. Fun fact: the only Blue Jay to hit a homer in the majors at a younger age? Vlad Guerrero Jr. Ainge was smart, too - a two-time Academic All-American.

Here's the second thing: Danny Ainge was a very good professional basketball player. He hit over a thousand three-pointers in his career (this before the trifecta was as ubiquitous in the NBA as bored C-level courtside celebs) and averaged 11.5 points per game. He was also a tremendous pain in the ass, the kind of player you hated to play against but loved to have on your team. He famously tangled with Michael Jordan and Tree Rollins ("Tree Bites Man") and generally never backed down from anyone, helping the Celtics to their 1984 and 1986 banners.

Here's the third thing: Danny Ainge was instrumental in banner seventeen, too. In 2003 Ainge came home to the Celtics as Executive Director of Basketball Operations. He acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to partner with Paul Pierce, and the result was another NBA Championship for the Celtics in 2008. It should have been another in 2010 if not for some truly horrific officiating in Game Seven of the Finals against the Lakers. 20 fourth-quarter free throws for LA against 17 for Boston the entire game? Please.

Ainge has three titles to his credit, two as a player and one (so far) as an executive. He's a gambler in the front office, unafraid to try the unorthodox and unafraid to move on if it fails. Does his tenure have another title in store? It's been 12 years now since the last one. That's a long wait for Celtics fans. And here's the last thing: nobody knows that better than Danny Ainge.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page