BOSTON (CBS) — A major change is coming to the front office of the Boston Celtics.
On Wednesday morning, hours after the Celtics’ season ended in Brooklyn, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will seriously consider stepping down from his job. Less than an hour later, Wojnarowski updated his report to state that it will indeed be happening. Not long after that, the Celtics made it official.
The Celtics announced that Ainge is retiring, and that Brad Stevens is leaving his post as head coach and to become the new president of basketball operations.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with [Brad Stevens] since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” Ainge said in the Celtics’ announcement. “I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
The Celtics just completed a disappointing season, finishing 36-36 in the regular season, participating in the play-in tournament, and losing in five games in the first round of the playoffs to the Brooklyn Nets.
Ainge, 62, seven-and-a-half seasons with the Celtics to begin his NBA career, winning championships in 1984 and 1986. He’d go on to play for Sacramento, Portland, and Phoenix before retiring after the 1995 season.
He was the head coach of the Suns from 1996-99, leading Phoenix to a 136-90 regular-season record. He returned to the Celtics in 2003, where he’s remained for the past 18 years. He was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2008, after building the Celtics’ championship roster with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Ainge’s son, Austin, is the Celtics’ director of player personnel, and Mike Zarren is the team’s assistant general manager. With Ainge still mulling his options, it’s obviously not at all clear whether his potential exit would mean an elevation for either Austin Ainge or Zarren, or whether it would lead to an entirely new front office being established in Boston.