Celtics Owner Believes GM Chapter ‘Probably Closed’ For Danny Ainge

'The truth is he wasn't asked to leave, and I wish he didn't, but he did'


June 29, 2021

The Boston Celtics drastically have shaken things up this season, but it all started with a decision made by Danny Ainge.

The former president of basketball operations decided to step down the day after the season ended, with Brad Stevens stepping up as his successor. That brought us to Monday as the Celtics announced Ima Udoka to fill their head coaching vacancy left by Stevens.

All the while, the Utah Jazz opted to make some front office changes, and speculation ran rampant across NBA Twitter that Ainge would be eyed for the job. These rumors replaced those about Ainge being asked to step down by Boston brass after a disappointing season.

In an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck on Tuesday seemed to disregard both.

“It was first of all to process that, and make sure he really did want to leave, because as I said before in a public statement or remark or something, you know, that wasn’t something we encouraged or wanted to have happen,” Grousbeck said on the radio station, relaying how all this played out since the day Ainge revealed the revelation he had about not wanting to be a GM anymore.

“The truth is he wasn’t asked to leave, and I wish he didn’t, but he did, and nobody wanted him to leave and he was not asked to leave.”

As for whether or not Grousbeck sees any legitimacy to Ainge-to-Utah rumors?

“I’m gonna let Danny speak for himself,” Grousbeck said, before elaborating.

“My sense from Danny — I’m very close to Danny and talk to him all the time — and my sense from Danny is there’s nothing imminent. There’s nothing happening. At some point, for all I know, if he can’t become a golf pro, a touring golf pro, he might get back into the basketball game and I wouldn’t blame him. He’s been in it 44 years, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a general manager again. I think that that chapter is probably closed.”

Ainge almost certainly missed the boat on a career as a PGA Tour pro. It’s to be seen if we see him pop up on the Senior Tour or in a new NBA executive role first.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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