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From 1981 until 1995, Danny Ainge was a pest to any opposing team he faced.

For the past several years, Danny has continued to be the thorn in the side of the opposition. Only, he does it wearing a Boston Celtics polo and slacks, not short shorts and clunky Converse sneakers.

There's a reason why 29 other General Managers fear calling him. It's why they probably have "SCAM CALLER" for their caller ID anytime Danny calls. Don't believe me? Look no further than Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving. One superstar and two with the serious potential of following suit. All three of which have no business wearing green and white.

At least, they shouldn't be.

Had Danny held onto fan favorites Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics would likely be hovering around the 6th or 7th seed. They'd probably be a nice team. But we all know what place "nice" finishes, now don't we?


Thankfully, however, Danny is as shrewd and gutsy as they come. A risk-taker like his mentor, the greatest sports patriarch of all time, Red Auerbach, Danny is never afraid to make a big move -- as long as he comes out on the winning side, of course. Which he routinely does.

Brash and ruthless on the court, Danny is much more subdued while behind the scenes. So it's always a treat to here what he has to say about the team he created. A team built to win today, tomorrow, and for years to come. A group comprised of fearless, yet selfless versatile athletes who collectively personify the definition of team.
I’m very excited about our depth and to see the progress of our team. I’m anxious to see how it’s going to work on the court. I’m not going to overreact to early-season games because I think we have long-term objectives this year. It is new. It is new for all of our players.

It is new. He's right. And this past Tuesday night, on the opening of the 2018-2019 season, our beloved Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia 76ers, allowing us to see that "new" in action. And while it took a little time to get going, we finally saw "it."

Selfless basketball.

The ball whipping around the corner.

We saw the pace. The space. The extra pass. We also saw the same confidence and self-belief that these Celtics showcased last season and throughout the playoffs.

Danny sums it up best.
Those are things that Brad teaches and preaches a lot. You got to believe in yourself and be humble enough to respect your opponent and respect the work that it takes to become great. There’s not a shortcut. You don’t win championships based on how good you look on paper. It’s how hard you work, how much better you get, how you develop chemistry over the course of the year, how hard you defend — those are things that Brad is very good at.

Again, he's spot on. No one cares how good your team looks on paper. No one cares how you played for 36 or 40 minutes. They only care about two little letters: W or L. Wins and losses. That's all it comes down to.

Tuesday night, the Celtics came out with a win. And a big one at that, especially when factoring in an uncharacteristic performance by our leader, Kyrie Irving. Had someone told me that Kyrie would only score seven points in the whole game, I would've cringed at the thought of an opening night loss.

This, in effect, is what makes this team so dangerous. Kyrie was off, but Jayson Freaking Tatum (I'm pretty sure that should be his middle name) was dancing on 'em, dropping 23 points with ease.

If you look at the box score, nothing pops out. If you look closer, you see a well-balanced attack. 

That's all by design -- by the master architect himself who conjured up a team capable of delivering death by a thousand cuts. Or at least as many cuts (i.e. players) that head coach Brad Stevens will send out onto the floor.

To read more of what Danny had to say about the Celtics first win of the season, click here.

Follow Edward Babaian on Twitter: @bojixbabaian

Photo Credit: NBC Sports; NY Daily News

Edward Babaian 10/18/2018 07:41:00 AM Edit
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