Danny Ainge knows the business of sports can be tricky sometimes. But as a fan, the Celtics president of basketball operations still wants the best athletes in Boston.
During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston prior to the Celtics’ Monday night matchup with the Atlanta Hawks, Ainge shared his thoughts on the city potentially losing a pair of signature athletes: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
“I’m just hoping it’s not true,” Ainge said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston. “I’m going to hold true to Tom being here next year, the quarterback of the Patriots and hope for that until it doesn’t happen. And same thing with Mookie. I understand there’s a big — I don’t have to deal with the salary cap of the Patriots and the tax structure they have in Major League Baseball. So, that’s easy for us to say. But those are two terrific players and like you said, icons in Boston forever, regardless of what happens here in the offseason.”
Ainge, of course, has had his share of business-like moves with those who will forever find themselves in Boston sports lore. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Isaiah Thomas, are among the most recent examples.
Those decisions, much like those upcoming with both the Patriots and Red Sox, are even more difficult when dealing with players of such stature.
“They’re just hard to find. Those guys are just hard to find,” Ainge said. “But there’s a time when it’s better for everybody to move on in a different direction, and I’m not saying that’s the time now, like I understand how sports is. And there is that time you have to move on.”
As you’ve surely heard by now, the Red Sox are in talks to trade Betts while Brady could become a free agent for the first time in his 20-year career on March 18. Both of their futures remain a mystery.