Danny Ainge: Celtics Need To Earn Boston Fans’ Respect This Season

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marcus thornton kelly olynykBoston loves its winners, so it’s no surprise that the Celtics enter this season a distant fourth in the city’s sporting consciousness.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is looking to change that, but he knows it won’t happen overnight.

“I think there are the diehard Celtics fans,” Ainge said Thursday in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “I don’t think the whole city of Boston knows about this team yet, so we have to earn their respect. I think (Wednesday) night was a good step in that.”

Ainge is right about that. The Celtics demolished the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday in their regular-season opener, leading by as many as 29 points in an eventual 121-105 win.

“I think our team is young, and so that usually comes with it a little bit of inconsistency,” Ainge said. “I’ve really enjoyed being around this team. I love watching this team. I look forward to watching them play each night. They play with great passion, they play together, they play defense. I’m excited about this team. I think Brad (Stevens) really has these guys playing in an exciting way and in a way that is consistent to winning.”

Ainge also enjoyed watching the exuberance of Rajon Rondo, who went off for 13 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in his first game back from a broken hand.

“He wants to get back to that echelon of point guards,” Ainge said. “And people have sort of forgotten about him because last year he played coming off the knee injury and so forth, and he wasn’t who he was. It was encouraging to see Rajon last night, he had so much enthusiasm, he was like a little kid. He was like (rookie point guard) Marcus Smart last night, he was really wound up and he played with great intensity.”

Photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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