Danny Ainge pulled off multiple shrewd moves in the 2010s, but the former Celtics president of basketball operations wasn’t interested in victory laps after Boston won its 18th championship.

Ainge’s career-defining move was trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 in a deal that gave the Celtics multiple first-round picks. Two of those picks ended up being Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who was part of another huge trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The pair of stars were the core of Boston’s championship pursuits as Ainge tinkered with additions like Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Ainge left the organization in 2021, Brad Stevens put the finishing touches on the roster and the team’s goal was completed when it beat the Dallas Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals.

“I was watching; I just couldn’t be there,” Ainge told The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy via phone. “(Utah Jazz general manager) Justin Zanik just went through a kidney transplant and so I’ve taken a little more responsibility here right now.

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“It was fun watching. We followed the Celtics’ success all during the playoffs, and it was exciting to see and it’s fun to see everybody shine. There’s so many people there that we’re rooting for.

“There’s a lot of guys there that deserve all of that credit. Brad, (vice president of basketball ops) Mike Zarren, (assistant GM) Austin (Ainge). Those guys deserve a ton of credit, ’cause they were there through all of it. And Wyc (Grousbeck) and (Stephen Pagliuca) spent a lot of money.”

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In his column posted Friday, Shaughnessy chose to give Danny Ainge more credit than the Jazz CEO offered to others since he was the one who hired Stevens and convinced foundational players like Horford to sign.

Celtics players also offered their praise for Ainge, and fans likely will, too, as they celebrate another championship for Boston.

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Featured image via Rob Gray/USA TODAY Sports Images