At one point in his ill-fated reign over the Celtics, Rick Pitino told the team that Larry Bird wasn’t going to “come walking through that door.” He was right. But it looks like Danny Ainge is. This is pretty awesome news. It relieves the team of the burden of Chris Wallace, who has made some good moves but has also made some moves so incredibly boneheaded that I can only say “Wow, what a boneheaded move.” It provides a connection to the most recent Celtics dynasty. And Ainge has a good basketball mind.
He says he’ll keep O’Brien as coach. He’d say that anyways, since the guy has another year on his contract and they just extended the assistant coach contracts to make O’Brien’s. Figure that the next year will be an audition year for the coaching staff; the bar won’t be impossibly high but O’Brien will have to work for a new contract. Not that he hasn’t been working so far, of course.
The big question in my mind is whether Ainge and O’Brien will get along better than O’Brien and Wallace have been. Wallace lost O’Brien’s confidence when he traded for Baker. The GM and coach need to be in sync.