The times they are a changin’ in the NBA.
The modern-day NBA can be classified as the superteam era, as the league’s elite continue to find ways to team up with each other. This would have been an inconceivable tactic 20 to 30 years ago when the league’s premier players wanted nothing more than to beat their fellow superstars.
Danny Ainge has benefitted from both sides. Ainge won two championships as a player with the Larry Bird-led Celtics and also hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy as an executive after crafting the big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. As such, Ainge wasn’t exactly floored when Al Horford decided to leave the C’s this summer for the rival Philadelphia 76ers.
“I mean, it’s a different era,” Ainge said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.” “I can’t imagine that would have ever happened in my time of playing, but it’s a different world that we live in. It doesn’t seem to be those kind of same rivalries. There’s rivalries with the fans, but sometimes not as much with the players.”
Horford was a key reason for the Celtics’ success against the 76ers in recent seasons, as the veteran big man is one of the few players in the league who’ve found consistent success defending Joel Embiid. With Horford and Embiid now sharing a frontcourt, Boston will face an uphill climb any time it squares off with its Atlantic Division foe next season.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images