The latest from the Celtics' "biggest cheerleader"
LAS VEGAS -- It’s not unusual for Danny Ainge to find himself baking like most of us East coasters in this Vegas heat that reached triple digits before noon.
But this trip to Vegas is different.
Ainge, who usually shows up evaluating the Celtics’ summer league roster as well as keeping an eye on other potential talent from other teams, is in a completely different role now as a spectator.
The former president of basketball operations with the Boston Celtics, is in town to watch and observe the summer league going-ons for the first time with no team to (officially) call his own.
We had a chance to catch up on his summer as well as his future which he acknowledges may include a return to the front office.
ASB: So, how has retirement been for you so far?
DA: I don't feel I was ever retired but I did need a break. I’ve had a really good summer, catching up on spending a lotS of time with family and friends. It’s been an enjoyable time. I’ve stayed in contact with Austin (Ainge, Boston’s Director of Player Personnel), Mike (Zaren, Vice President of Basketball Operations and team counsel), Dave (Lewin, Director of Player Personnel), Brad (Stevens, President of Basketball Operations), quite a bit this summer, just to keep to up to date on everything without offering any input (chuckle); just trying to be a sounding board. I’ve enjoyed it.”
ASB: What has the transition been like for you, to not be as involved in the basketball decision-making side of things which as we both know, can be extremely taxing over time?
DA: “It has been taxing. I have a great staff of people. It’s just an opportunity to let them do more and have a say. Brad and Mike and Austin have been there a long time; just giving them a chance. I’m anxious to see how it all works out.”
ASB: How much of a challenge has it been to keep a healthy distance from the guys, but make sure they know that they can count on you as a sounding board?
DA: “It’s definitely their decisions. I’m just rooting. I'm their biggest cheerleader right now.”
ASB: How often have you been in contact with Brad who hasn’t wasted much time in reshaping what this roster will look like going forward?
DA: I don’t know all the deals they are doing. I know the deals they're talking about. I don’t know what deals, how close they are. But he has been in touch all summer. But these are his and his staff’s decisions that they are making. I’m cheering them on.
ASB: Listening to you, it sounds like you’re looking to recharge the battery and at some point, maybe re-enter the basketball operations side of things?
DA: I’m pretty sure I don’t want to re-enter to the level I was at, for sure. I'm enjoying what I’m doing now. I’m in no rush. I’m giving my wife a chance to breathe, sit back, see what she wants to do. She’s followed me around for 42 years. We’ll see what happens. I’m not in any rush.”