Larry Bird says Danny Ainge got him traded from Boston
Danny Ainge is the current General Manager extraordinaire of the Boston Celtics and mastermind of the last Big Three era in Beantown. Did he also get legend Larry Bird traded back in the day?
Ainge helped construct the roster that brought the franchise’s 17th NBA championship in 2008. It might be the greatest or one of the greatest moves in basketball that instantly vaulted a bottom-dweller to contender then champion. According to Larry Bird, however, he also may have been the reason for the Celtics’ de-construction in the late 80’s. Via Bill Simmons’ interview with Bird:
“Danny told Red he should trade us right now, because we don’t have that much left in the tank.” Larry Bird
Although loyalty is still a valued and rewarded characteristic in the league, it does not necessary translate to success or championships. The Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs might be the exception to the rule, but with teams running an arms race nowadays, sometimes pulling the plug on a roster is necessary.
Ainge was quoted in the video saying “Yeah, I might have to get rid of Garnett, Pierce, Ray Allen. All three of them.” This story ended with a championship roster being dismantled. The bold move gave them a treasure trove of picks and the young Celtic roster that they have today.
He might not be the best definition of loyalty or appreciation, but when it comes to making the tough decisions on making an organization successful, there is no better than Danny Ainge. There isn’t much Ainge can still do to surprise people.