Executive Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics
"I know that it will be a great relationship because he is a worker. He has a great personality, he's smart and bleeds green!"
Those were the words of Celtics President Red Auerbach on May 9, 2003, the day Danny Ainge was named Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations.
This marks Ainge's second stint with the club, as he was selected by Boston in the second round (31st pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft. He spent the first seven-plus years of his playing career with the team and finished his career with Boston averaging 11.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, while hitting .386 from three-point range. He was traded along with Brad Lohaus to the Sacramento Kings on February 23, 1989 in exchange for Ed Pinckney and Joe Kleine. Following the 1989-90 season, he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. In July 1992, he signed with the Phoenix Suns as a free agent and spent three seasons with the club before retiring.
During his 14-year playing career, Ainge won two World Championships with Boston (1984, 1986) and appeared in six NBA Finals (four with Boston). He ranks third in NBA playoff history for games played (193) and ranks sixth in most three-pointers made (172). He is also eighth in three-pointers attempted (433). Upon his retirement, Ainge was one of three players in NBA history to make 1,000 or more career three-pointers (1,002), along with Dale Ellis and Reggie Miller.
Following his playing career, Ainge joined TNT as a color analyst for the 1995-96 season before returning to the court with the Phoenix Suns as an Assistant Coach prior to the 1996-97 season. Just eight games into the season, he was promoted to Head Coach and guided his club to a 40-34 record after the team started the season 0-8. He spent the next two-plus seasons as Head Coach of the Suns and compiled a 136-90 (.602) record before stepping down on December 13, 1999 and returning to TNT as an analyst. In his three-plus seasons as the Suns coach, he guided Phoenix to three playoff berths.
Ainge enjoyed a storybook collegiate career at Brigham Young University from 1977-81. He won the 1981 John Wooden and Eastman Awards as the nation's best college basketball player following his senior season, when he averaged 24.4 points per game. At North Eugene (Ore.) High School, Ainge was an All-American in basketball, football and baseball. Selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 free agent draft (15th round), he played three seasons of Major League Baseball while still attending BYU. Ainge was inducted into the Oregon State Sports Hall of Fame in August 1999 and was the first player in BYU history to have his jersey number (#22) retired.
Danny and his wife, Michelle, have six children: Ashlee, Austin, Tanner, Taylor, Cooper and Crew.
Danny Ainge didn’t get all angry when people were calling him a fool, when writers would fairly spit out the word “vision” on their keyboards to mock the leader of a lottery club.
Late Tuesday night at the Garden, as the Celtics [team stats] were closing in on Banner No. 17 against a Lakers outfit that never bothered to show up for the second half, the Jumbotron above center court took us on a trip down Memory Lane.
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