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Danny Ainge’s Accountability Problem

 

I had knee surgery yesterday and I’m a little hopped up on goofballs, so this is probably a great time to write how disappointed I’ve been in Danny Ainge lately. Not Danny Ainge, the GM. Danny Ainge, the person.

Ainge, like all basketball GMs and Dwyane Wade, is responsible for assembling professional basketball rosters. Therefore, it stands to reason that he should accept some meager share of the blame when his roster doesn’t perform up to expectations. His title is President of Basketball Operations, after all. At the very least, if he’s not going to take on any responsibility himself, he certainly shouldn’t be dispensing any to anyone else.

But that’s exactly what he’s been doing, sadly. In making the media rounds after Game 5, Ainge explicitly assigned blame for the season’s end to his players, and nobly declined to leave any for himself, the person who brought those players together.

Articles like these are riddled with quotes about how Ainge believes the Celtics lost because the players didn’t play as well as they could have. His tone, throughout, is that of a disappointed father whose son didn’t practice enough for his piano recital and missed out on a piano scholarship to a good college. It’s pretty unpleasant, actually, from someone in a position of power and responsibility like Ainge. The buck is supposed to stop with him, but Ainge is snowblowing bucks out of his office and leaving his players to deal with them.

Here’s perhaps the exemplar quote: Ainge’s response when asked if he had any explanations for the Celtics’ early exit.

“I won’t share those with you, because that would be talking about some of my players that didn’t play as well as they were capable of playing,” said Ainge.

That’s sharing plenty, Daniel. What you’re making clear, here, is that you believe player performance doesn’t reflect on you. All you do is sign the players, who you presume to be awesome, and then when they’re not as awesome as you thought they would be, it’s their fault. That is pretty slimy, even if it is the result of professional insecurity, which it probably is.

After the jump, some sub-categories of Danny faulting his players for his own mistakes.

A) Spending the mid-level exception on a guy who’s primary schtick is getting injured a lot, then signing the league’s oldest player, then using their inevitable injuries as an excuse.

“In all honesty, the injury bug bit us pretty hard,” Ainge said. “Now that’s not an excuse. (It is, actually). But we lost key role players that put added pressure on our starters to play more minutes.”

B) Trading one of the starters and a clubhouse favorite, then claiming the subsequent decline in team chemistry had absolutely nothing to do with that.

“I think that’s a bunch of garbage,” Ainge retorted. “Whether chemistry went awry or not, that might be true, but I don’t think it’s because we traded Perk.”

C) Trading for an overrated player, then blaming the circumstances the player was brought into (by Ainge) for the player’s poor performance.

“It was the byproduct of a new position, a new team, a new coach, all of those things,” Ainge said.

D) Obliviously chastising your players for a late-season fade that coincided very closely with a massive roster shakeup caused by, um, you.

“I’m disappointed,” said Ainge. “I’m disappointed in how we played the last 20 games of the regular season. I thought we should have had home-court advantage through the playoffs.

Danny, here’s a quote I wrote for you. It’s for interviews when people ask you any question about this season.

“We took some risks at the end of the season,” said Ainge. “I felt we needed to make some changes if we were going to compete in the playoffs, but they didn’t all work out as we’d hoped.”

See? It’s vague. It’s polite. It conveys a mild sense of contrition while leaving some responsibility to pure chance. It uses the first-person plural, implying that you’re not the only person involved in making personnel decisions, which is hopefully true. And it doesn’t accuse your roster of letting you down. Isn’t that a great quote? Maybe say it while shrugging a tiny bit.

But definitely stop doing what you’re doing.

  • dtla la

    Total agreement.

  • Sam
  • MP!

    We lost because we couldn't score in the fourth quarter. Same as last year. It had nothing to do with Perkins.

    • dtla la

      I actually think the trade may have been the right move if you focus on the long-term. That doesn't excuse Ainge's failure to take responsibility for his other missteps and the tone of his rhetoric with regard to our boys.

      • dslack

        In a year when the team has a legitimate chance to win a championship, you don't focus on the longterm — especially not for a guy like Jeff Green. You do everything you can to win the championship in the current year. At least that's what you should do.

        • duggyfresh88

          100% agreed, espcially when your core players are past their prime

  • Morpheus

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Hopefully, Danny is better learned after this.

    Chemistry means something, it can either make or break a team.

    Injecting new players mid season means having to get them up to speed with the system – offense and defense. They also have to ADJUST their roles a bit.

    Don't just look at what a player doesn't do well, look at what they did do well. For Perk it was setting screens for Ray, which was a huge factor in how effective Ray could have been post trade. Toughness…blah blah blah.

    We all know what Perk's weaknesses and strengths were.Danny just took an "outside looking in" approach at our weakness, which was our offense and thought getting better offensive players was going to solve that problem, well guess what, it didn't.

  • skeeds

    Who underperformed, in his view? PP, Ray and KG, playing against Lebron, Wade and Bosh? I'd say they did a pretty good job considering the task at hand, and their REAL capabilities. Not the ones we hope or remember them having. If he expected performances like Ray's 3point record last year, or PP's 50 point game in 08 or KG's 28-15 game every night, for us to be playing at our best, his brain is messed up.
    Rondo? with one arm? did better than Bibby and Chalmers combined, even so. Jermaine, who nobody expected to even wear a uniform? Jeff Green? Who did Ainge think he traded for, Jason Terry or Manu Ginobili? Because I didn't expect a new 6th man of the year when I heard we traded for him. Delonte, Krstic played decently. In my view, only Baby underperformed. And that's not a good enough excuse for us losing a series. We should have had the answer for that.

    Of all the times this team has come short, this was the one entirely on Ainge and the coaching staff. The problems we faced, considering injuries and underperforming and fatigue and old age, were there 2 months before the trade deadline. And the only move Ainge managed to make was to get rid of a center he and Doc trusted, in exchange for a center they didn't want to play, and a kid that had to average 20-10 to make all the drama worth it. It's not about Perk. It's about not having a good enough team.

    • Batman

      Kristic didn't want to play?

      • Morpheus

        "They" didn't want to play Krstic, as in Doc didn't want to play Krstic. Which is false, because Krstic suffered that injury to his knee and so on.

        • skeeds

          well, specifically in the series against Miami he played really well the time he was asked to. Which was minimal. Injury or not, he was effective even for 8 minutes in game 3(if I remember right).
          None of the two, Ainge or Doc, had any plan to use him in the playoffs when they got him, that's obvious. They thought at least one of the O'Neals would play like a 2004 version of himself, and that Davis would get out of a 3 month slump. Krstic was just a "safety", a la Semih Erden, and that's exactly how they used him.

    • Greg

      I agree. The players did their part all year long (except for Davis). It was Ainge that let the C's down (he should be fired). I don't blame Green, Kristic, Murphy or Pavalovich. They are what they are. But the C's had a better team with the players they had. I will be interested to see how many of the newest players they keep. My guess is that the C's wind up with 0. And they have a big problem of trying to fill the center spot. I anticipate they will be dealing with this problem for many years to come. Ainge should be held accountable for this.

      • stephen

        Accountability from that little wussy Ainge? Hope springs eternal !!!!!!

  • ElRoz

    It wa snot just injuries ot Shaq and JO, so don't make it sound like Ainge is referrig to just those: Delonte West ongoing injury troubles and Marquis Daniels' one really did hurt the bench.

    No Delonte and no Marquis I think somewhat helped Ainge make the decision on Perk, even though he says he would have still done the trade.

    Would I have done that? Well, just looking to 2011 playoffs and nothing else, I would have played Von Wafer more as a back-up to both Pierce and Allen and used Bradley more (but now you see Ainge's choices w/o Daniels and Delonte, right? Bradley and VonWafer). But if I were somewhat confident that Shaq and JO would comeback and play (as JO did and Shaq didn't), the way Ainge thought – as did I – I would be less worried about making the Perk trade.

    Had they kept Perk, the back-up guard and small forward would have been Delonte and Von Wafer in the playoffs.

    If they can have BBD, Green, Delonte, Kristic, and Bradley all go through the pre-season and camp, they will all play much better…especially Green and Bradley – young talent.

    • dslack

      There might have been other trades available that didn't involve sending away Perk. Corey Brewer, Grant Hill, Shane Battier, someone of their ilk.

      • Renato Afonso

        Grant Hill wanted to stay in Phoenix, and who can blame him? He has that miracle working staff allowing him to play rather than stay injured all the time. He has 355 days of sun per year. He plays alongside Steve Nash. Would his chances of getting a ring be better in Boston? Sure, but he is smart enough to know that a ring doesn't (or at least shouldn't) change your legacy in the game.

  • Berkcelt

    Hayes' point is well taken in this corner. My biggest gripe with Danny is that he sold the Perk trade on Shaq being able to carry the banner (so to speak). Well, Shaq couldn't, and even though I can certainly believe that the doctors told Danny in good faith and good medicine that Shaq would be back and ready to go, he was always betting on the oldest player in the league who had a history of getting injured. It was a high risk situation, Danny gambled, and Danny lost. And I definitely think a serviceable Shaq changes that Miami series. I don't know if we win, but it goes longer than 5. To me that's on Danny, but as illustrated above, he is kind of just brushing it off as opposed to owning up on it.

    • Greg

      I agree. But, it was a really bad gamble. A suckers bet. It's like betting everything you own on an inside straight draw. Anyone who knows anything about poker will tell you that is a bad bet, Anyone who knows anything about basketball should have known that betting everything on Shaq and JO is a bad bet. A GM should know better.

  • rondeezy

    you guys are still talking about perkins? pathetic

    • Jeremy

      nope we're talking about Ainge as well. Sorta like how the Knicks talk about not just Eddy Curry but Isiah Thomas..sorta how the Wizards talk not just about Kwame but Jordan as well.

      • rondeezy

        3 months later celtic fans are still talking about this. the heat didnt win because the celtics didnt have perkins, so whyre you guys still talking about this? everytime something bad happened in the playoffs or regular season, its because of perkins. yeah lets trash danny ainge cus if he wasnt gm the celtics would be hoping for their 17th championship and half you fans wouldnt be on this site right now. not to mention the lakers would have completed their 3peat last year. i would say im starting to hate celtic fans but the ones the constantly seem to whine and bitch are only on this blog

        • stephen

          It's about Ainge gambling with team chemistry when our window of opportunity was closing. KG–turning 35==Ray –36–PP–34— and Ainge brought KG over from Minnesota because of K.McHale. In other words it was a gift from one Celtic to another since Minnesota wasn't title material with KG anyway. Ainge is about as responsible for the C's winning their 17th title as my next door neighbor. Ainge is a failure as a GM and you are a total moron for defending him.

          • rondeezy

            closing window, w.e perkins wasnt going to help the celtics beat the heat. he was the only expendable one out of the starting 5 and none of the bench guys are attractive trade pieces. youd be here bitching right now if DA never made that that trade about how we had to live with von wafer guarding lebron for the second unit. and as to ainge having no credit of boston winning #17, you are a fucking idiot. fuck this site and its dumbass readers

    • http://facebook.com Jay-ar

      at least they cared to say their thoughts you MORON.

      go ahead, defend Ainge as much as you can. because of him, the core of the '08 championship team was destroyed once and for all.

  • Greg

    Celtics and their fans struggled through 2/3 of year with injuries and setbacks. Yet they, still had the best record in the east. Then, just as it looked like Perk and Shaq were ready to offer some relief, Ainge trades Perk and Semih. I was deflated. Devastated. I can't even imagine what the players felt. Do more with less, I guess was the montra. This was a horrible trade and then for Ainge to blame the players on lack of effort, when it was clear how bad of a trade it was, is shameful. I have lost all respect for Ainge as a person. He is not willing to hold himself accountable, but is quick to point the finger at the players who are giving everything to try to make the C's a winner. If Isiah Thomas were GM of the C's and he had made this trade, he would have been rediculed and fired (and rightly so). It is one thing for a player to be held accountable for a bad season. It is a totally different story for a GM to trash an entire teams season, when they had an excellent chance at an NBA title AND give away future prospects for nothing. I am so dissapointed in Ainge.

  • T,pmey

    While this article is 100% accurate, i’d also like to point out as with the Lakers, the demise of the Celtics bench, starting with letting guys like Tony Allen and Leon Powe go, ultimately hurt them in the long run, since additionally, losing players takes that little bit away people don’t anticipate with the bench. But as you said, when you replace them with Injury prone big men, AND JUST SAYING Mantra style, “Wait until the playoffs, the season be damned, we’ll make it and this will be relevant, we will be relevant, we’ll flip a switch and these moves will look smart.” is not a good thing.

    The C’s last year may have gotten away with that, but they didn’t count on being one year older making a difference, the same way they didn’t count on dumping Perkins and Lil Nate for two relative C list players with “athleticism to make them younger” tanking the spirit of those same “old battle tested warriors”

    This is my theory. Kobe, Pau, and Lamar Odom weren’t the only Lakers who went through hard times before they started their 2 year playoffs dominance. Jordan Farmar was there, Sasha was there, Luke Walton was there, hell Even Adam Morrison rode the bench twice like a prized high pick project destined for Garbage minutes while the Lakers were blowing another team out to tacos for their fans.

    Those are the gritty young vets who make teams what they are, they saw as many ugly games and tough crushing playoff loses that caused them to be hungry, and enabled them to make the “Trevor Ariza-esque” shots in big moments when their big 3 couldnt carry the team.

    A team is a TEAM at the end of the day. Jeff Green is a good guy and all, but it doesn’t compare to haivng a guy who’s been there before, and with that same team. I say for my money, the Celtics would’ve made it 7 games if one Kendrick Perkins was around, if Tony Allen had one more shot, one more hurrah, the C’s would’ve BEEN the C’s. Instead, they became what people thought all along, the Big 3.

    Let me say something, i think having 3 good players, doesn’t guarantee you a championship, good teams with good benches and talented players around the board who play defense makes the world go round.

    Messing with something good already is a mistake, and Ainge may have thought a plug and play would work, but i’m sad to say it just wasn’t enough. NOW WHAT!?

  • Nano

    If this is the new standard of journalism on this blog, I am very disappointed.

    • the other Alex

      why?

      I love 90 % of the stuff Hayes writes and like the rest.

      Mrs. Davenport

    • oddbird

      its not journalism. its a blog. they are different. you are wrong. DONE

      • Nano

        it's fine to disagree and everything, but please don't attack people on the blog. we're supposed to get along and enjoy ourselves and create a solid space for dialogue. jeeeezzz

  • yourworstenemy

    PLEASE HAVE THE DECENCY TO RESIGN, MR. AINGE…… YOU’VE CAUSED MORE THAN ENOUGH DAMAGE AND IS STILL CAUSING A LOT MORE, AND WILL CAUSE MORE…. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe Smith

    Ainge is a typical manager…someone that makes decisions and then deflects any negative outcome on to the employee.

    Ainge has proven, that he got lucky in his deal to get Garnett and Allen and, the Celtics are turning into the 04-08 Pistons through mismanagement….and lack of LEADERSHIP.

    He was responsible for losing Allen, Posey, Poe, Perkins, and Semih…imagine what type of team we would have if he would have not traded chocolate for water.

    • Batman

      lol if u think Powe, Posey, Semih, Perkins would have saved us ur crazy

      • Joe Smith

        I am simply implying that losing defense, toughness, shot blocking, length, youth, and team chemistry will contribute to your demise….and LOL really if you think that losing that type of contribution had no affect on Celtic salavation.

        • duggyfresh88

          You really don't know what you are talking about. Tony Allen left because he wanted a bigger role which the C's couldn't provide. Not Dannys fault. Leon Powe left because he doesn't have knees. Posey left because he got a ridiculous contract from the Hornets that the C's would have been stupid to match and probably didn't even have the cap room. Semih and Perkins are the only ones he deliberately traded. And the Garnett and Allen thing was not luck. I am not defending the Perkins trade. But the fact that you are trying to say he is a bad GM who had 1 lucky move is ludicrous. He is one of the best GMs in the league who took a gamble this year that didn't pay off. That doesn't discredit him for everything he has done in the past.

          • Joe Smith

            Tony Allen left in part because of the "role"…but it wasn't the driving force behind him leaving…he left because of the money/contract he was offered. Ainge has admitted that losing Allen was one of his biggest mistakes. Tony's role has really not expanded this year in Memphis anymore than when it was with the Celtics.

            Whats changed for him is that he "feels" appreciated so his play reflects it. Damn right its the GM's fault if he can't stroke the players ego with balance to the organization. This is the reason that Posey left also.

            One of the best GM's in the league doesn't sacrfice team cohesion, the Eastern Conference lead, etc for one hell of a reach of a trade on the last day of the the deadline 25 games left into the end of the season.

            As you can see this type of mistake brought on an effect which eventually lead to the end of the season with no larry obrien.

          • Joe Smith

            I could also cite numerous stupid stuff he has done in detail like:

            1. Spending the MLE on Rasheed.
            2. Bank the sucess of his trade on Shaq.
            3. Not pushing Jermaine to get his surgery sooner vs. farting around with the work out program of lower body strengthing.
            4. Floating rumors and shopping Ray around last years trade deadline.
            5. Trading Eddie House for Nate Robinson.
            6. Floating rumors that Rondo was on the trading block before the 09 season.

            If you read between the lines you can easily see that the players work past this type of mismangement because they really support each others back and believe in the Celtic Way. I just wish the GM felt the same way in his decision process. Better yet when he makes a mistake he just admits it…but like I said in the intial post this type of behavior is typical of a manager.

            It's time for Danny Ainge to take a leadership position and own up to his failures as he does his sucess….Like Mitch does :) (saracasim added).

          • duggyfresh88

            You shouldn't start a Celtics argument with me because i'll rip you to shreds. So many people like you make claims without doing the research and knowing what you are talking about. Tony Allen started 31 games for Memphis (the most since his rookie season in 04-05) and played 20.8 MPG, up from 16.5 last year.) He also had this quote: "Being in Boston I was kind of overshadowed by those guys, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen," Allen said. "Here's a ballclub who's on the rise and a lot of guys can make names for themselves. It's a coming out party for a lot of guys on this team." He didn't leave because of money. As far as Jermaines surgery, that isn't Danny's decision to make and he publicly called out Jermaine for the way he was wasting time. As for floating rumors and shopping Ray last year, he had a 20 million dollar expiring contract. At the time, that was a huge trade asset in this league. So Danny listened to offers for players like Kevin Martin and Monta Ellis, but didn't pull the trigger on any of them. Thats called doing his job, you listen to any and all trade offers. As for Danny floating Rondo rumors, he was calling Rondo out to step up and be more of a leader, and Rondo responded with a brilliant season. Then Danny signed him to a brilliant contract way below his market value. As for spending the MLE on Rasheed, what other options were there? Name someone who was available that you would have rather had? As for Eddie House, he is now riding the pine on the Heat bench, a team weak in the PG position and he can't even get minutes there. Danny made one bad trade (the Perk trade) and now you are grasping at straws trying to make him out to be a bad GM.

          • Joe Smith

            Duggyfresh,

            Re: Tony Allen.

            Tony Allen would have stayed in Boston had he been given a better deal. To save face he gave that statement to justify his decision. At one point in the season Tony's play was so terrible, as a STARTER, that the experts were considering his signing a BUST.

            His minutes average was up true but that is because he started, failed, and then moved back to what he will always be in this league…A BENCH 6th, 7th type defense transition player.

            His numbers were only up this year in scoring true…but he also played 18 more games…and an increase in his scoring is really not a good thing for Mr. Tony.

            I believe with him we would have a better chance at winning a championship. Losing him falls on Ainges head. Its Ainges job to fit the pieces and "stroke"…his management style is arrogant and lacks maturity.

            I could go on and on but I think I will just wave the towel for the moment (and not throw one in the middle of say a playoff game against the Cavs while a player is shooting free throws).

            Keep on shredding them Duggie.

          • duggyfresh88

            I agree that we would be better with Tony Allen and I wish we were able to get him. But you are mistaken, Danny did not get outbid. What I am saying is do more research and get a better understanding of how the business side of the league works before you make these kind of claims. I can tell you right now the 2 exact reasons why Tony Allen is not a Celtic. 1. He wanted a bigger role and he saw an opportunity in Memphis to show what he can do without his role limited under the shadow of 3 future hall of famers. 2. He signed with Memphis for 3 years, 9 million. Danny was willing to pay him that annual amount. The only difference is Danny didn't want to give him the 3rd year because that is when KG and Ray come off the books. He wisely wants as much cap room as possible to rebuild. While Tony would have been a great fit these next 2 years, who knows about the 3rd? And also you are wrong once again. Tony was playing so well as the starter toward the end of the regular season that he was their starter for the entire playoffs. You can't just say its Dannys fault we didnt keep player x and y etc. without knowing why they left. Same with James Posey. NO gave him 4 years $26 million, completely overpaying him with a contract Danny couldnt even match if he wanted to.

          • stephen

            Do yourself a favor and don't try to reason with anyone who refuses to see that Danny Ainge is a complete fuck-up as a GM. Like you said in one of your examples—Eddie House for Nate Robinson—-Give me a fucking break–and that's just one of many stupid decisions he's made.

          • lakershater13

            Did Nate not win us a couple games in the 2010 playoffs? What has eddie house done since? Did ainge not help build a championship team? We got banner 17. Does he not have the team set up to completely rebuild in 2012 when 3 of the best 10 players in the league are available? Even if we dont get any of them look at the draft picks he has stocked up to try to get young talent or trade for higher picks.

            TOO MANY INTERNET GMS WHO THINK THEY CAN RUN NBA TEAMS. PATHETIC.

          • stephen

            If not for my genorosity and me wanting the C's to win a 17th title probably ain't happening. ———-Signed——–Kevin McHale–GM———-Minnesota Timberwolves. P.S. Glad I could help.

          • duggyfresh88

            If you think Eddie for Nate Robinson has anything to do with the C's success or failures, you clearly don't know a lot about basketball. They are both streaky players who do nothing but provide an offensive spark off the bench every once in a while. You are yet another fan who acts like they can run a team when you have no idea how the league works. Danny turned the C's from a lottery team into a perennial contender. He has made a lot of great decisions, and a couple bad ones (including the Perkins trade). There is no GM out there who bats 100, if you can find one please let me know.

          • duggyfresh88

            Also on the JO knee surgery, back in January they sat down with JO, the Doctor and Danny. They made the decision together at the time not to have the surgery. http://celticshub.com/2011/01/20/jermaine-oneals-… "And you know again, Jermaine had a lot to do with the decision. And Dr. McKeon was fine with it, and it’s not an easy decision." Jermaine wanted to try to build up his quads and leg strength to avoid surgery. How can you twist that around as Ainges fault?

          • duggyfresh88

            One last point is that you have to understand the Celtics roster situation during the Big 3 Era. They have had the large majority of their cap designated to the big 3. Danny has had little more than the MLE and Veterans minimum to work with for the past 4 years to build a team around them. You fault Danny for signing players like Rasheed, but what else can you do with absolutely no cap flexibility? Those are the kind of players that come to a team like the Celtics, old veteran players past their prime trying to win a championship. You can't get the likes of a Brendan Haywood, etc. because they are younger and get bigger contracts because of their potential. What I'm saying is Danny has done a pretty great job with the resources he has had. He took a risk this year with the Perk trade and it turned out to be the wrong move. That shouldn't discredit everything he has done for Boston. He brought us a championship and made the Celtics perennial contenders for the first time since Larry Bird. Pretty impressive.

  • Gomezd

    "Ainge, like all basketball GMs and Dwyane Wade"

    Lol QFT.

  • James Patrick

    Well I called for his head this year. Clearly he's not going anywhere. If we endure another year of bad decision making, I'd be shocked if ownership doesn't put him under a microscope. if only he had owned up to some of it, I'd feel better in saying okay, he's being a man about it, let's move on. But he's not being a man, he's being a punk. It's everyone elses fault but his. THAT is a punk move.

    • alyson

      So true

    • stephen

      He was a punk as a player too.Bird, McHale, Chief and Dennis Johnson–those are true Celtics. Ainge–a little bitch.

  • CG12

    I agree with the comments about Ainge's tone and foisting of blame on the players, but have little patience for the relentless second-guessing of the personnel moves. Say Danny doesn't do the Perk deal? So what – we then have a team with the same weaknesses, lack of athleticism and bench scoring. JO provided a reasonably good Perk imitation in the playoffs. Perk would not likely have provided anything different, except perhaps even more limited offense. Perk is a lousy matchup for the Heat, who pretty much never feature a traditional center. As far as issues with Jeff Green being the centerpiece of the trade, he has obvious talent, so hopefully the Cs culture will help him evolve into a valuable and reliable player. A Shane Battier for the playoffs would have been nice, but you can't just say "I want so-and-so" and it just magically happens. The money needs to work, the other teams need to like your players, etc. Very hard to do.

    Tony chose to leave so he could compete for a starting job, which was not going to happen here. Quis has been injury prone, but was a very nice contributor when healthy. Nate was never going to play ahead of a healthy Delonte, with good reason. And even talking about Leon Powe? Come on, I love Leon and appreciate his time with the Cs, but Leon is playing on knees held together by duct tape and bailing wire. Acting like he would somehow make a difference is ridiculous.

    Perk is still recovering from his knee injury, and no one can know how much he will ever get back. The Celtics were likely going to be unable to re-sign him, in any event. Everyone likes to portray the trade as bailing on a season where the team had established itself as a major championship contender. I just don't see that. The team had shown some weaknesses that needed to be shored up. Making the trade allowed the team to do that, while looking to the future. I seem to be in the great minority, as I believe that planning for the future is just as important as the present, especially where the results are far from a foregone conclusion. Ainge's moves were calculated gambles (every personnel move is) and they didn't work out as well as hoped, but that does not mean they were bad ideas. It is impossible to have a 100% successful track record. If it was that easy, everyone would do it. Ainge has made some bold and very successful moves, and I therefore give him the benefit of the doubt. He didn't mortgage the chance to re-build on the fly after the Big 3 are gone to increase a 25% chance of winning it all to a 30% chance of winning it all. That is the sucker's bet. There are times where you need to pick between the best of several not-all-that-great options, I think that was the Cs fate this year.

    Here's hoping a year of exposure for the new guys and a couple of new pieces will put the Cs back at the forefront of the title chase next year.

    • duggyfresh88

      Boy is it refreshing to see someone on here with some sense. I agree with the point of Hayes article – that Danny shouldn't be blaming players and should take more accountability. However, all of the commenters on here calling for Ainge's head as if he is the new Isiah Thomas is just pure insanity. They literally have no sense of how the business side of basketball works and just say "Danny should have got player X and Y!!" or should have kept Posey or Allen, etc. The lack of basketball knowledge from these internet GMs is killing me.

    • Jim

      You are right on in your view in my opinion.!! I am not sure where the others are coming from but I hear lots of emotion talking more then rational thinking.

  • Renato Afonso

    "Ainge, like all basketball GMs and Dwyane Wade, is responsible for assembling professional basketball rosters." You killed me with that one.

    Regarding Ainge and his fault on the Celtics' demise, well, I agree with the article to a certain extent. I believe that Perkins wouldn't have gotten the Celtics past Miami but I believe that the Celtics would have hold the 1st seed and therefore wait for the winner of the Bulls-Heat series in the Eastern Finals. However, even with homecourt advantage, I don't think the Celtics could've beaten the Heat unless Shaq was logging heavy minutes at Center. Perkins is an enforcer and the Celtics didn't miss that in that series. And I've been saying for a long time that Krstic should've played more specially when Joel Anthony was on the floor. But… you can blame Ainge for the timing of this trade. Do you seriously believe that Sam Presti wouldn't have made the same trade in the pre-season?

    Also, Tony Allen was far more valuable than what people at the time gave him credit for. IS Ainge to blame? Yes, he is. Is Ainge wrong in the way he spoke about the players? Definetly. IS he to blame for trading Perk? No, he should've traded him before. Blame the timing, not the trade itself.

    • Jay P

      Danny's owned up to that one.

      His interview on WEEI he admitted to his biggest off season regret being not pushing harder to get Tony. He says if he could do it over again, he would have offered 3 years right up front, and hopefully blocked Memphis from making the offer they did (which primarily was the extra year, Danny eventually tried to offer 3, but it seems TA felt slighted by that point that he wasn't willing to offer it up front, and signed with Memphis for practically the same money.)

  • Zee

    What DA needs to be doing is getting Monta Ellis on our team!

    • Mark

      It seems to me that Danny said after the playoffs that his biggest regreat was not trying harder to resign TA. I was not all that sorry to see him go, but now I think he could have help out especially against Miami.

    • Zee

      LOL @ the thumbs down police! :)

    • philip

      i'm a celtic fan living in the Bay Area; i went to 10 GSW games this year and monta ellis solves zero problems for the celtics. he's a guy who wouldn't know defense if it walked up and hit him in the face. he can put the ball in the hole, but that's about all he does well. i'd wager that his basketball IQ is negative based on some of the decisions he makes on the floor. he's a fan favorite here in the Bay Area, but he's not a great basketball player; he is a great scorer, but that's about all he's bringing to the table, and he's taking plenty off the table.

      • Batman

        DA needs to be getting Brian Scalabrine back

      • Zee

        You must not know Monta Ellis:

        ARTICLE: Monta Ellis: Is Golden State Warriors Star the Best Shooting Guard in the NBA?
        http://bleacherreport.com/articles/657903-monta-e

        "When it comes to shooting percentage, Ellis' 45.2 percent is slightly better than Kobe's 45.1, but neither of them are quite on the same level as Wade, who shots an even 50 percent from the field."

        "For starters, nobody in the NBA plays more minutes than Ellis. He averages better than 40 a game, and he is still going strong. He also trumps Kobe and Wade when it comes to three-point shooting percentage, as he shoots better than 36 percent from beyond the arc. He also shares the ball better than Kobe and Wade, as he averages 5.6 assists per game."

        I would rely upon stats, and not 10 games. The proof is in his production. He just isn't on a championship caliber team. He can create his own shot and much more.

        • http://gymratrants.blogspot.com Tom W

          I like Monta Ellis actually…but when looking for credible online sources for sports, Bleacher Report isn't usually the place to go.

          • Zee

            How can stats be incredible? It's one thing to give opinion, but stats are stats. You can go look them up for yourself.

  • LiamtheDream

    Perk was going to be looking for a lot more money, more than he was woth so where was Ainge going to get the $$$'s to bring in more talent?

    • James Patrick

      as MANY people have pointed out, we have an aging core. We go for broke and get number 18 and in the end, he never really wanted to leave anyway. So I don't buy that.

  • James Patrick

    Ainge is VERY LUCKY that his got one of the most professional teams in sports. If we were the dysfunctional Lakers, he would be getting slammed in the papers by the players.

  • janos

    is good article Haynes and hope your feel better knee.
    Look like Noah in trouble for make same comment Kobe make.

  • Tony

    Was Jeff freakin Green really the best they could do though? I mean I'm a Lakers fan and I almost burst out laughing(2nd round sweep notwithstanding) when I heard it. Jeff Green sucks, his normal stats are mediocre and his advancded stats are terrible. Judging by how other teams and players talked about Perk, you think they would do better than Jeff Frikkin Green.

    • kricky

      Thanks Tony. This is what I've been saying for MONTHS

    • Nate

      Uh, they did do better. They got 2 starters (Green & Krstic)for a center they couldn't re-sign (perk) (and a tiny, benchwarming, shoot first, last and in between guard who needed knee surgery).

  • Jay P

    Thanks for picking up the torch of "most negative beat writer for the Celtics" Hayes, I'm sure you spend your nights worshiping Felger and wish you could bring you rampant negativity to the air waves some day.

    I don't have the time to address every point, but one stood out to me.

    "C) Trading for an overrated player, then blaming the circumstances the player was brought into (by Ainge) for the player’s poor performance."

    No, Ainge brought him in to play the 3 and be Pierce's back up. Any time Green spent at the 4 would be match up dependent only, when Doc wanted to go small, get out and run and change the momentum. That was not the primarily game plan.

    Green had to log heavy minutes shifting between the 3 and the 4, never really getting a rhythm is one specific role for a variety of reasons:

    1) Glen Davis sucking horribly through the playoffs and completely losing Doc's trust so that Doc was forced to lean heavily on Pierce, moving Green to the 4 to get KG rest.

    2) Injuries to the C position, and the ineffective play of Krstic, forcing Davis to shift to Center for far more minutes than anyone wanted to see him there at.

    • James Patrick

      Doc said it best. Trade should've happened after the season. And no matter what Green was to OKC, he sure as heck wasn't all that for the C's. But I don't see a fire in him, not like Perk or the rest of the C's starters. And he definitely isn't gonna be worth the money he thinks he has coming, not to the C's at least.

      BBD was thinking contract, productivity. Makes perfect sense the way he was throwing up all those shots that were no where near the rim. He got away from being the player we all loved and turned into a player we all wanted shipped out. When he returned to his team style instead of worrying about his individual performance, then we saw glimpses of what he is capable of.

    • hdavenport

      Green playing the 3 is what Ainge was talking about when he said "new position." He's not talking about Green shifting between the two forward positions. So I'm not sure what you're getting at, here.

      But even that being the case, playing Green at the 4 in crunch time like he did with Posey was part of Doc's stated agenda before Green played a minute for the Celtics, so the irrelevant point you're raising is also not true: Green was always going to be splitting time between two positions.
      http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketb

      And please don't attack my religious beliefs as a Felgerist.

    • oddbird

      it's fine to disagree and everything, but please don't attack people on the blog. we're supposed to get along and enjoy ourselves and create a solid space for dialogue. jeeeezzz

  • Nick

    Nice work calling him out on the typical executive sidestep of responsibility when things go wrong.

  • kricky

    You are 10% right in this Hayes. Not cool of Ainge at all not to take responsibility. He made some very controversial moves at the trade deadline that did not work out. HE needs to own up to his mistakes.

    Danny all will be forgiven when you bring Howard to Boston. So stop whining about the players and get your ass to work to make it happen!

    • Stephen

      Agreed—I've been slamming Ainge big time over the Perkins trade and what we didn't get in return. This is typical Ainge behavior. I've been following the C's since the late 70's —and during the C's run in the 80's Ainge was always my least favorite player. He was an annoying whiny little bitch then and he's a little bitch now. He fucks up and then blames the players, You–never–ever fuck with team chemistry. My hope is that OKC and Perkins continue all the way to the finals and then win it!!!—Anyhing to make Ainge look worse.

  • oddbird

    I'm not sure how I feel about DA right now. On one hand, he brought the Celtics a championship, rose them up from irrelevance, but it can be argued he has failed since then. With DA, it is a gamble, he will keep making moves until it falls into place. Or he is just laying in the wait and acquiring pieces for another blockbuster move. We got to to trust him for now though….

  • http://msn.com SHE

    Some of you folks are such "Company" types that you can't speak the true to DA… He totally blew this trade. Regardless of whether Perk would have made the difference himself, we would have been better off with the players we had. He could have added a couple of veteran free agents instead of trading for so so players that brought no energy or any exceptional talent (I heard that Green wasn't even the Thunder player that Ainge wanted). The big trade for Kevin and Ray was awesome and yes we did get a championship, but after that it was mediocre. Funny when we won Ainge didn't mind taking credit for a great trade!! We shouldn't have lost Tony Allen for sure… and Poe. Davis slumped, but, right or wrong, I think he didn't know his place on the team anymore. This was coach's job to guide him, instead of publically ridiculing him continually. For Ainge to blame the players was no class… I rooted for Danny as a player but being unable to admit the possibility of his error in this situation is bad!!!

    • stephen

      Agreed @SHE — Except for one point—-The deal that brought KG to us was more due to Kevin McHale wanting the C's to suceedthen anything Ainge did. Does KG come gift wrapped from Minnesota if McHale is not their GM? I don't think so.

  • Divine Gumasing

    He's on denial. That's very typical of people who mess up to reduce their feelings of dissonance. It's always difficult to face the consequences of errors in judgment.

  • Sweeney

    You can certainly say that and perhaps he can take a few more lumps. However, he is dead on in his assessment. You might not want it in the public, but he is not saying anything that is not known. Look, his take on Rondo a few years ago paid off. Both Doc and him have the respect of the players because he doesn't mince words. Maybe with a bunch of BBD's playing for us (fragile minded) then he would need to curtail his comments, but I am ok with them so far.

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  • fm29

    for me Danny done a great job.. he is right saying "did not work out", for me green is a great addition for he thinks, a scorer is needed hence pierce allen and garnett is short to do it consistently neither rondo… i think he thought, and obviously what i feel, if ther something lack or less on a defensive team is the scoring ability of pierce…. remember he does all the load back in 2007…. when rondo is not too ready to direct the team…. how much more if he still brought it years later w/ consistent impact…. knowing rondo is more lethal compared'….. hopefully next year if things fall in to place they could regain it….

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