Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Danny Ainge retires as Boston Celtics president, with coach Brad Stevens moving to the front office to replace him

 The Boston Celtics shook up their front office Wednesday, a day after they were eliminated from the playoffs, with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge retiring and coach Brad Stevens moving to the front office to replace him.

Chicago Tribune

The moves came about 12 hours after the 17-time NBA champions lost to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. The Celtics, who reached the conference finals in three of the last four seasons, had flirted with a top seed in the East for much of the season before stumbling into the play-in round.

Celtics staffers were informed Wednesday morning of the moves, which were first reported by ESPN and The Athletic.

  Ainge has spent the bulk of his NBA career with the Celtics, serving as the team’s president since 2003 and being part of the 1984 and 1986 NBA championship teams in Boston as a player. He was voted the league’s top executive in 2008, the year in which the Celtics won their 17th and most recent NBA championship.

Stevens spent eight years as Celtics coach, taking them to the playoffs the last seven seasons. He is the fourth-winningest coach in team history behind Red Auerbach, Tom Heinsohn and Doc Rivers.

Stevens did not allude to the looming moves in his final news conference after the loss in Brooklyn, though he pointed to the Celtics’ future.

The Celtics struggled with injuries this season, needed to win a play-in game just to get into the playoffs and fell well short of the expectation of contending for a championship — especially after reaching the East finals in the NBA bubble last season and losing to the Miami Heat.

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