Danny Ainge Rumors
He’s not too surprised that he won’t be at that bash, but the man who constructed that title team is still disappointed that Allen is getting snubbed by his former teammates. “I was surprised,” Ainge said during his weekly interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday. “Ray was such a big part of that, it would defeat the purpose. He was a huge, huge part of that championship run.”
Ainge said he’s had a few conversations with Allen since he departed, but he’s never asked why he chose Miami. “I think I know; I lived that with him and went through that,” Ainge said. “I think there were a lot of contributing factors and not just one thing. It was a difficult decision for Ray and I wish he hadn’t done it. But he did. … I’m a fan of Ray and grateful for what he brought to the Boston Celtics. He’s a great guy.”
Danny Ainge, who built that team, wishes everyone could get along again. “Ray not getting invited to a reunion of that team would be like me celebrating the 1986 title without Kevin McHale. It seems silly,” the Celtics president of basketball operations said yesterday. “We got where we got because of Ray. He was an important part of that team’s success. “You just hope that time heals all wounds.”
Though Allen has said one of his reasons for leaving to sign with Miami for less money was frustration regarding Ainge’s willingness to include him in trade conversations, the two men never had a hatchet to bury. And Ainge said he doesn’t understand the animosity in Rondo’s comments. “I know there was a bit of a rift on the team, but I don’t know to what extent, even now, that it’s so bad Ray wouldn’t be invited to a 2008 reunion,” Ainge said.
“Brad was very specific in how he wanted to use Al and play him,” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “And that was one of the reasons why Al really appealed to us, was his ability to handle the ball and make plays and be involved in the offense, whether he was getting shots or not. He could be a threat in so many ways.”
Ainge spoke with Thomas yesterday after the All-Star had questioned Brad Stevens’ substitution pattern in Monday’s loss to the Clippers. It was the second time this season Thomas had let his frustration out in a public fashion, and Ainge defended his coach while trying to make it a learning experience for his star. “Nobody prepares more for a game than Brad,” Ainge told the Herald, “not even Isaiah, who really prepares. Players don’t know what it’s like to coach. I took Isaiah’s comments as frustration. He hates to lose. But good leaders don’t look for blame. It’s easy to lead when things are going well. It’s much more difficult when adversity strikes. And everyone will face adversity. “I know Brad is a great coach — even one of the best — but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a mistake, just like great players do. But I know he will learn from his mistakes because he doesn’t look to place blame but looks internally for what he can do to maximize his talent.”