It’s official: Danny Ainge is out as Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, and Brad Stevens is in.
Hours after their season was ended by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics made two massive personnel changes, with Ainge “retiring from his role” and Stevens taking over. Now, Boston has a head coaching vacancy to fill, with two early candidates already popping up.
The team made the news official Wednesday morning, and both Ainge and Stevens released statements on the moves.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward. I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
“I’m grateful to ownership and to Danny for trusting me with this opportunity,” said Stevens. “I’m excited to tackle this new role, starting with a wide-ranging and comprehensive search for our next head coach. I love the Celtics and know the great honor and responsibility that comes with this job. I will give it everything I have to help us be in position to consistently compete for championships.”
Ainge reportedly doesn’t plan to retire, so we could see him pop up somewhere new in due course. As for Stevens, he now has to find his replacement while also overhauling a roster that wildly underperformed this season.