Celtics shake up front office after another failed playoff run
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The Boston Celtics are shaking up their front-office after being eliminated by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday night.
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Danny Ainge is stepping down from his role as president of basketball operations. He had been in the front office since the 2003 and had been the architect of one of the NBA’s first “Big Three” teams when he acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to partner with Paul Pierce. The move led the Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008.
The team’s head coach, Brad Stevens, is going to fill the role and move away from coaching. He had been the head coach since 2013.
The team made it official Wednesday after multiple media reports.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” Ainge said in a team press release. “I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
The moves come amid another unsuccessful run in the playoffs for Boston. Ainge had created a young team thanks to eventually offloading players like Garnett and Pierce to acquire draft picks and build for the future. He also traded for Kyrie Irving in 2016, but he would spurn Boston for the Nets.
The Celtics have been to the playoffs 13 out of the last 14 seasons and only have one NBA title and two NBA Finals appearances to show for it.
“Danny has made all the difference over the past 18 years – our record of winning percentage and playoff victories is near the top of the league during that time. He has always been a relentless competitor and a winner. Red Auerbach told us Danny is ‘lucky,’ and he was right, but a lot of the luck came from his intense drive and his incredible basketball insight,” Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said in the release. “Turning to Brad is a natural next step, since we have built a partnership over the past eight years, and he is a special basketball mind. We want him to lead us into the next great era of Celtics basketball.”
A change in either the front office or at the head coach position was rumored to happen in the offseason with speculation Stevens could leave for a college job.
That doesn’t appear to be happening as he steps into a new role.
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