The Celtics have enjoyed success during the first part of their 2019-2020 NBA season. They are 12-4 and near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. This is partly due to the work Danny Ainge has done behind the scenes. Recently, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols sat down with Ainge for an interview about everything from last year to this year.
"I do think it was my fault."
1-on-1 with Danny Ainge on what went wrong last year with Kyrie, how the front office pivoted to find an even better fit in Kemba Walker, and how his time with Larry Bird & Kevin McHale affected his reaction to Gordon Hayward's latest injury. pic.twitter.com/uw3gz5viVx
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 26, 2019
Here are a few quick thoughts based on the interview.
Ainge Recognizes Last Year STUNK
Danny Ainge isn’t stupid, folks. He knew last year was a failure. He recognized that there was a lot of talent that couldn’t put it all together. I think Ainge wishes Kyrie had stayed and he even said he wished the marriage had worked out. You knew Ainge wasn’t going to say anything bad about Kyrie. But, maybe he’s thinking this year’s team is a lot better off without the superstar.
He Loved Kemba Right Away
When Ainge was looking for an Irving replacement, one name that stuck out to Ainge right away was Kemba Walker. He recognized how much Kemba loves the game and that has rubbed off on his teammates. It’s hard not to love Kemba at this point. He’s giving his heart, soul and body to the Celtics and we’re only 16 games into the season.
Nichols Loved The “Trader Danny” Nickname
Here in Boston, Danny Ainge is known by one nickname: “Trader Danny”. Ainge has made some big moves in the past. He’s said he had his good trades and his bad ones in his career. But Nichols loved giving Ainge a little “zing” about GM’s not wanting to pick up the phone when Danny would be calling. Hey, give credit where credit is due. Ainge knows when to pull off the big move and when to hold off.
This was a great interview for both parties involved. Nichols asked the hard-hitting questions. Ainge answered the questions honestly, but carefully too. The season still has a long way to go. But, maybe we’ll see another Ainge-Nichols interview when the Celtics are getting ready for the playoffs? Time will tell.
-Alan Nahigian (@BigAl2793)