One Hit Wonder: Danny Ainge
Whodini hit me! How many of us have them? Friends. Ones we can depend on. Friends. Thank god for Kevin Mchale, right Danny? Without Mchale, Ainge doesn't exist, my ted talk.
Danny you are up next in CSBS's Celtic Bad 3 series. There's a direct link from McHale to Danny Ainge and any success he's ever had. Danny and the Celtics had Paul Pierce and that's about it, went to the playoffs, ECF, but that's about it, was never near a title or a title contender. The Celtics then traded for Ray Allen, and then called McHale in Minnesota and McHale handed Ainge the greatest friend gift in sports history. Kevin Garnett, aged 30 at the time, was one of the best players in the NBA, and made the Celtics a legit championship contender the first day he stepped into the facility. Make no mistake, Ainge didn't pull this deal off because he's some kind of shrewd trader, he pulled this off because McHale knew this was the only way the Celtics would ever contend for a title, he was on the outs in Minnesota and wanted to give his old team a gift. That is how it went down exactly. 2008 Celtics win the title, then Ainge can't get out of his own way with bad trades and poor management, and a team that should have won multiple titles end up with only 1.
The only reason the Celtics are good to slightly above good today is because of McHale once again. Celtics traded Pierce and Garnett to the Nets for a boat load of picks, those turned into the star Tatum and Brown. Without McHale, that Nets trade doesn't happen and Ainge is already fired. Nowadays Ainge doesn't really do anything, no trades, no building a better roster or trying to contend for a title. He is comfortable in his role and the owners allow it to happen. He is fine with going to the playoffs, sometimes the ECF, but never being able to seriously contend for a title. It is sad, it is frustrating, Danny Ainge should have been fired long ago. He hasn't won a title in 12 years, he doesn't have a McHale to save him this time, yet Wyc is okay with all of this. It is a losers mentality. Danny allows Brad Stevens to be one of the worst NBA coaches late in games, especially in big games. Just rewatch the final seconds of the Celtics Lakers game, Tatum is in the back court next to Stevens trying to call a TO during a horribly broken play. Stevens doesn't know what do to, just standing there hoping and praying the guys just figure it out. Kemba who missed all game, missed again and that's that, yet another big game loss for the loser coach. Good job good enough Stevens. And who is to blame, Ainge. He's allowed this franchise to be coached by a guy that is a complete loser for far too long. Stevens is comfortable in his job because Ainge is comfortable in his. They know they are completely safe no matter how many big games they throw away. As a Celtics fan this just sucks. We already know how this year will end, yet the owners are completely fine with it.
So thank you Kevin McHale for bringing the Celtics back to where they should be and allowing us to raise another banner. You are a far more important part of that championship team than Danny Ainge. Without you we play a few games in the playoffs and go home as usual. Ainge is no different than Doc Rivers, another one hit wonder. They will be tied to each other for the rest of time, being champions but also big fraud losers. They should give their rings to McHale and thank him for making both of them relevant and giving both of them careers.
I wish the Celtics ownership would grow some balls and finally fire Ainge and Stevens and get some people in that want a title not a few playoff games. I have been chanting for the Celtics to fire Ainge and Stevens for at least 3 years now and I will continue until they are both gone. But Celtic fans will be forever grateful to Kevin McHale for bringing the Celtics a championship in 2008.