Danny Ainge Rumors
It was for that reason, Ainge says, that he was careful which young players he entrusted to Garnett — and why Minnesota’s plan might be less than foolproof. Sometimes a player came in, Ainge says, “and it was a little scary to have KG around him. His work ethic was unquestioned, but he could be intimidating — and destructive — if the player didn’t respond in the right way.”
Q: You challenged Jared Sullinger to come back in better shape this season and we all overanalyzed his role during the preseason, but now he’s emerged as the team’s best big man early in the season. Are you happy with the way he appears to have embraced that challenge? Danny Ainge: Jared has played really well. I know what he’s capable of doing. I think Jared is still so young. I think that his best basketball is still ahead of him. But I do see a lot of great progress from Jared.
Danny Ainge: Well, I think that Amir and David have been good additions. David has helped us win a couple of big games. I think he wants to play more. I don’t think he showed up to training camp in great shape, but he’s worked really hard since he’s been here and getting himself into shape. Amir, I think, is still trying to find his way with our team. But he’s the ultimate team guy. He really cares about his teammates, he cares about winning, he cares about doing the right thing. So I think Amir has been excellent, but as the season goes on, I think he’ll get more and more comfortable with our group and with the coaching staff and he’ll be a little bit more assertive.
An aside here: One day this writer bumped into Ainge at a fast-food joint near the Celtics’ practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts. As he made his way through the cafeteria-style line where they were building his burrito bowl, a not-bashful store employee kept telling Ainge that he should trade Rondo to the Sacramento Kings — and Isaiah Thomas was one of the names the employee mentioned getting in return. The people in Boston’s front office often stress that Ainge takes all advice into consideration and maybe even those outside the organization, too.
Q: You’ve joked about it before, but are you ready to give him another six-year contract yet? Danny Ainge: [Laughs] Yeah. Q: You have to start thinking about that. Sure, we’re only in Year 3, but you can’t risk letting a good coach get away. Danny Ainge: No, listen, he’s a keeper. He’s great. He’s great to work with. Like I said, I think he’s going to be — if he stays in this game long enough — he’s going to be one of the great coaches.