Will Danny Ainge get fined for throwing a towel in the air to distract Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson during a free-throw attempt in Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena? That's for David Stern to decide, but the Celtics' GM has acknowledged wrongdoing, ESPN.com reports.
"I regret that. That was very unprofessional," Ainge told WEEI, according to ESPN.com. "I was having fun with the hecklers and the crowd that was sitting around me. … There's just no excuse. It was unprofessional. I regret doing it. The biggest reason I regret it is you guys should be talking about the great play of the Celtics and not talking about a towel incident. I'm shocked that it's become this big a deal."
The Celtics beat the Cavs 104-86 to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1, but much of the reaction since leaving Cleveland has centered on Ainge’s behavior.
"The competitiveness in me gets the best of me," Ainge explained on WEEI. "That's no excuse. It was unprofessional. Hopefully, we can move on past this and focus on the players and the real issues at hand."
Ainge will accept any possible punishment.
"Usually when things become public like this, you do hear from the league," Ainge added. "I don't think David Stern cares about a towel that was thrown, but because it's become such a public story, I'm sure there will be something. I'd like to give my charitable contributions to those of my own choice, but I am confident the league does well with our money."
The Celtics aren’t too worried about TowelGate.
"Comical," said coach Doc Rivers. "I didn't know about it, honestly. I was up in my bedroom doing my work, and my cell phone kept ringing, over and over again. … When I saw it, I got a good laugh and giggle out of it. Danny's going back to his playing days. It's pretty comical."
Ainge made a career of getting under opponents’ skin when he played with the Celtics, Kings, Trail Blazers and Suns. Old habits die hard.