Boston Celtics president of basketball operatons Danny Ainge has retired from the position and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will be promoted to the position. The news of Ainge stepping down as Celtics president of basketball operations came just a day after Boston suffered a first round exit in the playoffs.
Stevens, who had a mild heart attack in 2019, has been thinking about retiring for two years now. "It was my decision," Ainge said at a news conference Wednesday. "I don't know if there was a moment in time, but like I said earlier, I trust my instincts, and my instincts told me a couple months ago that it was time for me to move on, and that's what's best for us, that's what's best for the Celtics."
Ainge admitted that the last season was tough in the Orlando bubble. "In the bubble and all the rules and scrutiny and protocols that we had to go through has not made the job as much fun," he said.
Stevens ready to replace Ainge
Stevens will now be promoted as the president of basketball operations and the Celtics will start their quest to find a new head coach.
"I'm passionate about this group of people, I'm passionate about the team we have, I'm passionate about the people that work in our front office, I'm passionate about our coaching staff, and that's who I've spent all morning with," Stevens said.
"I do think I have a good insight into our team as Danny now steps away." Ainge believes Stevens is the right man for the job. "I'm excited for Brad," Ainge said. "He was born for this. "Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he's been here, I know we couldn't be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward.
The Celtics lost to the Brooklyn Nets in five games and Kemba Walker hopes Boston will bounce back next season. "It's tough," Walker said after watching the Celtics lose 123-109 to Brooklyn in Game 5 on Tuesday night, ending Boston's season.
"It's been really tough especially because over the course of my career, I've played so many games when I've been healthy. "I came to Boston to be a part of those special runs and be a part of high-intensity games and fans going wild, and I wasn't able to be a part of that unfortunately. Just try to get right. I gotta get right."