Danny Ainge steps down as Celtics presidency and takes on coach Brad Stevens

Boston (USA), Jun 2 (EFE) .- The era of Danny Ainge as head of sports for the Boston Celtics came to an end this Wednesday with the announcement that coach Brad Stevens will succeed him as president of operations.

Finding a colleague to lead the team in the new season will be the first assignment for President Stevens, who had already expressed feeling “worn out” since the seclusion of ‘the Bubble’ in Orlando.

Ainge’s departure came after the team’s disappointing end of the regular season and hours after the elimination at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets (1-4) in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Ainge, 62, was the architect of Boston’s last champion team, the 2008 one with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and is the third longest-serving CEO of any NBA franchise, behind by Pat Riley (Miami Heat, 1995) and Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs (1996).

The Celtics finished in seventh place in the Eastern Conference shortly after reaching the conference finals in three of the past four years.

Guard Kemba Walker, the team’s highest paid player, has a two-year contract, which should earn him $ 73 million, but comes from a season in which, due to knee problems, he missed 29 games, plus the last two. of the postseason.

Ainge came to the job in 2003, one of the first major decisions of owner Wyc Grousbeck after buying the team.

The move came in an unusual way, with Ainge being hired amid the Celtics facing the then New Jersey Nets during the Eastern Conference semifinals, a series Boston would lose.

It turned out to be a decision Grousbeck would not regret, as Ainge managed to complete the transactions for Garnett and Allen in the summer of 2007 that made the Celtics champions for the first time in more than 20 years in 2008.

Throughout his 18 years with the Celtics, Ainge hired only two coaches: Doc Rivers in 2004, after his first season in charge of the team. And he surprised with the choice of young Butler University Stevens, who replaced Rivers after he left for the LA Clippers in 2013 and now manages the Philadelphia Sixers.

(c) EFE Agency

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