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Daniel Ray Ainge (born March 17, 1959) is an American basketball executive and former professional basketball and baseball player. Ainge is currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Danny Ainge
Danny, calm as always.jpg
Ainge during the Celtics'
championship parade in 2008
Boston Celtics
PositionGeneral manager / President of basketball operations
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1959-03-17) March 17, 1959 (age 60)
Eugene, Oregon
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolNorth Eugene (Eugene, Oregon)
CollegeBYU (1977–1981)
NBA draft1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career1981–1995
PositionShooting guard
Number44, 7, 9, 22
Career history
As player:
19811989Boston Celtics
19891990Sacramento Kings
19901992Portland Trail Blazers
19921995Phoenix Suns
As coach:
19961999Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As executive:

Career NBA statistics
Points11,964 (11.5 ppg)
Assists4,199 (4.0 apg)
Steals1,133 (1.1 spg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Ainge was an outstanding high school athlete. At Brigham Young University, he was named national basketball college player of the year and won the John R. Wooden Award for the most outstanding male college basketball player. While in college, Ainge also played parts of three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB), mostly as a second baseman. He was then drafted into the NBA by the Celtics. Ainge completed 14 seasons, playing for the Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, primarily as a shooting guard. He went on to coach the Suns for three seasons before joining management of the Celtics, with whom Ainge has three NBA Championships to his credit (two as a player, one as President/GM).

He is the only person to be named a high school first team All-American in American football, basketball, and baseball.

Contents

Early sports playing careerEdit

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Ainge starred in high school on his football team and led North Eugene High School to back-to-back state basketball championships in 1976 and 1977, earning all-state honors both years; he was considered one of the top prep football recruits in the state of Oregon. As a junior, he was named to the 1977 Parade magazine High School All-America team. Ainge is the only person to be a high school first team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball.[citation needed]

Ainge played basketball at Brigham Young University (BYU). He hit one of the best-known shots in the 1981 NCAA March Madness tournament against Notre Dame when his coast-to-coast drive with seven seconds remaining gave the Cougars a one-point win. Ainge concluded his senior year by winning the Eastman Award, as well as the John R. Wooden Award—given to the best collegiate player in the nation. During his four-year career at BYU, Ainge was an All-American, a two-time First Team Academic All-American, the WAC Player of the Year and a four-time All-WAC selection. He concluded his college career having scored in double figures in 112 consecutive games, an NCAA record at that time.

Baseball careerEdit

Danny Ainge
Second baseman / Third baseman
Born: (1959-03-17) March 17, 1959 (age 60)
Eugene, Oregon
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 21, 1979, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1981, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
Batting average.220
Home runs2
Runs batted in37
Teams

Ainge was selected in baseball's 1977 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He made it to the major leagues with the Blue Jays in 1979 while still in college. Mostly a second baseman, he played third base and outfield positions as well, hitting .220 in his baseball career with 2 home runs and 146 hits in 211 games. He is the second-youngest player in Blue Jays history to hit a home run, at 20 years and 77 days, surpassed only by Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.

After three years with the Blue Jays, Ainge decided to pursue a career in basketball and was chosen in the 1981 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, who had to buy out Ainge's contract from the Blue Jays after a legal battle.

Ainge is among the 13 athletes who have played in both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, along with Frank Baumholtz, Gene Conley, Chuck Connors, Dave DeBusschere, Johnny Gee, Dick Groat, Steve Hamilton, Mark Hendrickson, Cotton Nash, Ron Reed, Dick Ricketts, and Howie Schultz. [1]

NBA careerEdit

Not everything went well for Ainge in NBA basketball at first. He had a terrible first day of practice, "shooting 0–2547", Larry Bird wrote in his autobiography Drive: The Story of My Life. Celtics head coach Bill Fitch gave Ainge a rough time, saying his batting average was better than his shooting percentage on the basketball court. But Ainge became an important piece of the Celtics teams that won the NBA title in 1984 and 1986.

Ainge was known as a brash, hard-nosed player who often infuriated opponents. In a 1983 playoff game against Atlanta, he called 7-foot, 1-inch Tree Rollins a sissy, whereupon Rollins elbowed Ainge in the face. Ainge tackled Rollins and the two began wrestling. Tree bit Ainge's middle finger so hard that it required two stitches to keep the tendon together. Ainge was ejected from the contest for starting the fight. The incident prompted the headline "Tree Bites Man" on the April 25, 1983, Boston Herald.[2] While playing for the Phoenix Suns, Ainge got into a tussle with Michael Jordan at midcourt; both were given a technical foul. In a 1994 postseason game, Ainge rifled an inbounding pass at the head of Houston Rockets guard Mario Elie, striking him in the face, snapping his neck back.[3][4][5]

In 1989, Ainge was traded to the Sacramento Kings for young center Joe Kleine, whom the Celtics saw as a possible successor to the aging Robert Parish, and Ed Pinckney.

In 1990, Ainge was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Byron Irvin and draft picks. Being a native of Oregon, he was considered a hometown favorite by Blazers fans. He helped the Blazers reach the 1992 NBA Finals, only to succumb to the Chicago Bulls in six games. On June 5, he scored nine points in the extra period to tie an all-time NBA record for most points in an overtime during a finals game.

After the 1991–92 season, Ainge became a free agent. He had stated in media interviews that he ideally wanted to stay in Portland and would contact Blazers management before seriously entertaining offers from other teams. On July 1, 1992, however, Ainge signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns on his first day of free agency.

The Phoenix Suns were a team looking for a new identity. They inaugurated a new home (America West Arena), hired a new head coach (Paul Westphal), and acquired a new superstar (Charles Barkley). The team also redesigned their logo and uniform when they signed free agent Ainge prior to the 1992–93 season, figuring that his experience would help the team during the playoffs. Ainge responded by scoring 11.8 points per game as the Suns went 62–20 that year and reached the NBA finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan's Bulls in six games.

On January 18, 1994, he became the second man ever to hit 900 three-point shots in NBA history (he made 1,002 three-pointers for his career), and he scored 11,964 points for an average of 11.5 points per game, 2,768 rebounds for an average of 2.7, and 4,199 assists, an average of four per game, over 1,042 NBA games.

Ainge retired after the 1994–95 season. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Post-basketball playing careerEdit

While a player with the Suns, Ainge opened a national chain of hat stores which he has since sold.[6] He has volunteered his time at a number of charitable organizations and has held a number of jobs since retiring. He became head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 1996. His resignation from the Suns coaching job was a sudden one; he cited a need to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by assistant coach Scott Skiles. In 2003, he was hired as the Executive Director of Basketball Operations for the Celtics. Ainge also served as a commentator for the NBA on TNT.

In 1996, Danny Ainge made his acting debut in Space Jam, playing himself. While only a brief appearance, Ainge was dubbed "The Bad Shot Guy" after catching and shooting the ball at the same time while Charles Barkley roamed the court after having his skills stolen by the Monstars.

Ainge has often been controversial in his role as a Celtics executive, trading popular players such as three-time All-Star Antoine Walker (earning himself the nickname "Trader Danny") and having personality conflicts with then-head coach Jim O'Brien (which eventually led to O'Brien's departure to the Philadelphia 76ers). However, Ainge kept the support of both the Celtics' ownership group and—perhaps most importantly—legendary former head coach Red Auerbach, who was employed by the team as a "senior assistant" until his death in October 2006.

The 2006–07 Celtics finished with a 24–58 record, second-worst in the team's history. Following the season, Paul Pierce, team captain and face of the franchise, expressed frustration with the team's failures. He requested a trade to a contender if management were unable to acquire veteran talent of Pierce's caliber.

Ainge responded with two bold moves that changed the franchise's fortunes almost overnight: the 2007 trades for the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett and the Seattle SuperSonics' Ray Allen immediately returned the Celtics to the ranks of the NBA's elite franchises for the first time since the early 1990s. Together with Pierce, they formed a new "Big Three" and led the Celtics to the NBA's best record (66–16) during the 2007–08 season. It was the most dramatic single-season improvement in league history (42 wins more than the previous year), and it earned Ainge the NBA Executive of the Year Award.

Boston faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, renewing the long rivalry between the two teams. The Celtics won the series in six games, giving the franchise its 17th NBA championship. Danny Ainge held the trophy for the first time since winning in 1986. In October 2008, after the Celtics' championship season, he was promoted to President of Basketball Operations.[7]

On May 3, 2010, Ainge was fined $25K for tossing a towel to distract a Cleveland Cavaliers player shooting a free throw during game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.[8]

In 2013, Ainge traded Garnett and Pierce, along with Jason Terry and D.J. White, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for five players plus the Nets' first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.[9] Boston also received the rights to swap picks with Brooklyn in 2017.[10] It is widely considered one of the most lopsided trades in league history.[11]

On August 22, 2017, Ainge made another blockbuster deal, trading All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, as well as Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić and the rights to the Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star Kyrie Irving.[12] Eight days later, the deal also included a 2020 second round pick from the Miami Heat as compensation relating to a prior injury to Thomas.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Ainge and his wife, Michelle, reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts; they have six children (Ashlee, Austin, Tanner, Taylor, Cooper and Crew). Austin Ainge is director of player personnel for the Boston Celtics[14] and like his father, played basketball at BYU. Tanner Ainge is a lawyer and a former political candidate.

Ainge's nephew, Erik Ainge, was the starting quarterback on the football team at the University of Tennessee[15] and was selected by the New York Jets in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Ainge and his family are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which Ainge served as a bishop.

Ainge suffered a mild heart attack in 2009,[16] and another in 2019.[17] He has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder according to a personality test he took when Doc Rivers was coaching the Celtics.[18]

NBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Ainge won an NBA championship

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1981–82 Boston 53 1 10.6 .357 .294 .862 1.1 1.6 0.7 0.1 4.1
1982–83 Boston 80 76 25.6 .496 .172 .742 2.7 3.1 1.4 0.1 9.9
1983–84 Boston 71 3 16.3 .460 .273 .821 1.6 2.3 0.6 0.1 5.4
1984–85 Boston 75 73 34.2 .529 .268 .868 3.6 5.3 1.6 0.1 12.9
1985–86 Boston 80 78 30.1 .504 .356 .904 2.9 5.1 1.2 0.1 10.7
1986–87 Boston 71 66 35.2 .486 .443 .897 3.4 5.6 1.4 0.2 14.8
1987–88 Boston 81 81 37.3 .491 .415 .878 3.1 6.2 1.4 0.2 15.7
1988–89 Boston 45 28 30.0 .460 .374 .891 3.4 4.8 1.2 0.0 15.9
1988–89 Sacramento 28 26 36.7 .452 .387 .813 3.6 6.7 1.5 0.3 20.3
1989–90 Sacramento 75 68 36.4 .438 .374 .831 4.3 6.0 1.5 0.2 17.9
1990–91 Portland 80 0 21.4 .472 .406 .826 2.6 3.6 0.8 0.2 11.1
1991–92 Portland 81 6 19.7 .442 .339 .824 1.8 2.5 0.9 0.2 9.7
1992–93 Phoenix 80 0 27.0 .462 .403 .848 2.7 3.3 0.9 0.1 11.8
1993–94 Phoenix 68 1 22.9 .417 .328 .830 1.9 2.6 0.8 0.1 8.9
1994–95 Phoenix 74 1 18.6 .460 .364 .808 1.5 2.8 0.6 0.1 7.7
Career[19] 1042 508 26.6 .469 .378 .846 2.7 4.0 1.1 0.1 11.5
All-Star 1 0 19.0 .364 .750 .500 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 12.0

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1982 Boston 10 0 12.9 .422 .500 .769 1.3 1.1 0.2 0.1 5.0
1983 Boston 7 7 28.7 .389 .400 .727 2.0 3.6 0.7 0.1 9.4
1984 Boston 19 0 13.3 .456 .222 .700 0.8 2.0 0.5 0.1 4.8
1985 Boston 21 21 32.7 .466 .438 .769 2.8 5.8 1.5 0.0 11.0
1986 Boston 18 18 36.2 .554 .412 .867 4.2 5.2 2.3 0.1 15.6
1987 Boston 20 19 38.1 .487 .438 .861 2.6 4.6 1.2 0.2 14.8
1988 Boston 17 17 39.4 .386 .328 .881 3.1 6.4 0.5 0.1 11.6
1991 Portland 16 0 17.3 .448 .306 .821 1.8 1.9 0.8 0.2 8.0
1992 Portland 21 0 21.4 .479 .404 .830 1.9 2.3 0.7 0.0 10.6
1993 Phoenix 24 0 24.6 .376 .413 .872 2.5 2.3 0.5 0.1 8.1
1994 Phoenix 10 0 23.0 .458 .425 .714 2.3 2.1 0.6 0.1 8.6
1995 Phoenix 10 0 13.7 .500 .462 .909 1.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 6.0
Career[19] 193 82 26.1 .456 .397 .829 2.3 3.4 0.9 0.1 9.9

Head coaching recordEdit

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Phoenix 1996–97 74 40 34 .541 4th in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1997–98 82 56 26 .683 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1998–99 50 27 23 .540 3rd in Pacific 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1999–2000 20 13 7 .650 (resigned)
Career 226 136 90 .602 12 3 9 .250

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Baseball and Basketball (NBA) Players". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "'Tree Bites Man' Entered Basketball Lexicon 29 Years Ago Tuesday When Tree Rollins Bit Danny Ainge". April 24, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Basketball Suns Ainge is Fined $5,000 by NBA". The New York Times. May 18, 1995. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  4. ^ Ainge vs Mario Ellie (1994 West Semis) - Danny doesn't forget (by Sole Records). August 23, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Danny Ainge Hits Mario Ellie RIGHT IN THE FACE!!! BOOOOOM. August 16, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2016 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ Gallen, Tim (March 6, 2014). "Tempe's Hat Club lands private capital to spur expansion". www.bizjournals.com. Phoenix Business Journal. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "Boston Celtics extend deal of president of basketball operations Danny Ainge". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "2010 NBA playoffs: Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics GM, fined $25K for towel antics". Sports.espn.go.com. May 7, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Greenberg, Neil. "Analysis | Worst NBA trade ever? 2014 Nets-Celtics trade would have to outdo these four duds". Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Nets Acquire NBA Champions Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry". The Official Site of the Brooklyn Nets. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Analysis | Worst NBA trade ever? 2014 Nets-Celtics trade would have to outdo these four duds". Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  12. ^ "Celtics Acquire Four-Time All-Star Kyrie Irving". NBA.com. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "Celtics, Cavaliers Complete Trade". NBA.com. August 30, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "A.Ainge named director of player personnel". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "New York Jets QB Erik Ainge opens up about his years of drug abuse and his ongoing battle with addiction and mental illness". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "NBA.com: Celtics GM Danny Ainge has mild heart attack". Archived from the original on December 20, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  17. ^ "Danny Ainge Expected To Make Full Recovery After Suffering Mild Heart Attack". CBS Boston. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  18. ^ https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/24383926/jackie-macmullan-ocd-adhd-medication-marijuana-nba-mental-health. Retrieved June 7, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ a b Danny Ainge, basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.

External linksEdit