Yeah, Danny’s pretty serious about running this team. I think it’s kind of sneaking up on us. During the glory years of the 80s, Danny was clearly the least talented starter. Mind you, on a team with Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Dennis Johnson that leaves plenty of room to be pretty damned good — and he was — but he was still the least talented starter and in a lot of ways he was the kid on the team. I think that Boston fans, on occasion, have trouble thinking of Danny as a hard-nosed GM. Look at me; I’m still calling him Danny. Everyone does.
But you know, he’s kinda creeping up on us. Today he pointed out that no Celtic is untouchable. If there’s a good enough trade involving Pierce, he’ll take it. Good for him. And even more interesting:
Ainge said he will not balk at taking a step back from the Celts’ current standing or going with very young (read: no immediate impact) talent to achieve the greater good down the line.
“Sure, if I think it’s worth the risk, I’m patient enough,” he said, adding, “Are you patient enough? Are the Boston fans patient enough? How patient is Jim O’Brien? Those are all questions you have to weigh.”
The money quote from that excerpt is “How patient is Jim O’Brien?” O’Brien hasn’t shown a lot of signs of patience with young players, and many (including myself) would argue that it’s getting to be a serious flaw. There was clearly a gulf between O’Brien and Chris Wallace; Wallace was drafting players that O’Brien didn’t really want to play. Part of that was O’Brien’s tendency to expect players to produce from day one. At this point, I think it’s clear that Ainge isn’t going to put up with that, and since Ainge is O’Brien’s boss he won’t have to put up with it.