BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is on the mend after suffering a mild heart attack in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Ainge, 60, is expected to make a full recovery, according to the team. The Celtics issued the following statement on Thursday:
Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. He received immediate medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery. He will return to Boston shortly. Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
Ainge was in Milwaukee to watch Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Bucks in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. He also suffered a minor heart attack back in 2009 that required a brief stay in the hospital.
Celtics players did not hear about Ainge’s heart attack until their morning meeting on Thursday.
“What he’s going through is more important than any game we are playing,” said forward Jayson Tatum. “He’s doing better and wants us to compete. Game 3 is important to us and very important to him and everyone in our organization.”
“Danny wants us to stay focused but our prayers are with him,” said guard Marcus Smart. “Danny is one of those guys who takes time out of his life, his day, whatever he is doing, to make sure you’re alright. He constantly checks in on my family and everything like that. Personally, for me, he’s been another mentor. When I first got here, Danny was a person I saw every day and talked to. He means a lot to my life and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.”
And fans are wishing Ainge a speedy recovery, as well. “I’m speechless,” said one fan. “He’s obviously important to us and the Celts.”
For his part, Ainge’s son, Austin, is grateful for all the support his father has.
The Celtics will resume their playoff series with the Bucks on Friday night in Boston.