This morning, I was at work, just minding my business, trying to host a couple of WW1 Kahoots to help my students that can't even explain the significance of Franz Ferdinand prepare for a quiz.
Before I could remind my students not to get confused about Triple Alliance becoming the Central Powers and the Triple Entente becoming the Allied Powers, there was a WOJ BOMB so massive that it would've sunk the Lusitania.
Not even 18 hours after the 2020-2021 Celtics died a very 2018-19 Celtics like death, Danny Ainge has "retired" from President of Basketball Operations and has been replaced by now-former Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens.
I consider myself a knowledgable but semi-casual Celtics fan. I don't watch every game, but I like to think I have a decent idea of what's going on with this team, and I had zero clue whatsoever this was coming. This story hit me like a ton of anything because, as you likely learned in 2nd grade, a ton of bricks and a ton of feathers weigh the same.
There have been rumors that Brad Stevens would leave to go back to Indiana, but nothing about moving into the front office. When you factor in how young he is (44), it makes this move even more surprising. According to Woj, Brad Stevens has been "worn down" since the Bubble.
Now that doesn't come as that much of surprise. Everybody is worn down from the last 15ish months, plus from a purely basketball standpoint, the C's have played a LOT since the league restarted last July. After a run to the ECF, the Celtics season ended on September 11th. The 2020-2021 Celtics season began on December 23rd. We're talking not even three and half months between seasons.
As for Danny Ainge, I've gone back and forth with how I view his tenure.
Everybody will focus on how the Celtics "only" won one championship as if that tells the whole story. The 08-09 Celtics were the best Big 3 era team but saw their championship aspirations die when KG got hurt. In 2009-10, the Celtics lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road after losing their starting Center in Game 6. IDK how much of that can be blamed on Danny Ainge.
Obviously, Danny only has one ring from his 18 years as GM/President of Basketball Operations, but it's not like they were the Pittsburgh Pirates over his tenure. The Celtics played in five Conference Finals from 2009-10 to 2019-20. That being said, I think it's more than fair to say they underachieved as a team.
Clearly, there have been questionable moves. Most C's fans will point at the Perk trade as one of Danny's biggest mistakes, and I am certainly in that camp. I wish Danny handled this last off-season better. There are plenty of misses, but he's consistently been one of the best front office execs in the NBA. Sure, the Nets recruited Kevin Durant and Kyrie and traded for James Harden, making light work of the Celts mere hours ago, but DA still fleeced Brooklyn in the Paul Pierce/KG trade. Danny turned two aging stars (plus Jason Terry) into Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both are still not even close to their prime yet. Danny could still have his fingerprints on a future championship team.
I know "It's All About 18" around here, but the fact of the matter is the Celtics have won one (1) championship since 1987. With all the success of the Patriots and Red Sox, Boston has turned into championship or bust. The Celtics have still been in three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals.
All I care about going forward is keeping the Jays intact. I loved Brad as the coach, but it felt like the team adopted his laid-back image and needed a new voice. This might not be the worst move for their future. I want someone to light a fire under their asses to get the most out of them while also not fucking things up to the point they want out of Boston.
One thing is for sure this will make for an exciting offseason.