Danny Ainge talks about the tough decision to move on from the training staff

The Boston Celtics made the decision to revamp their training and sports medicine staff this offseason, moving in a new direction with new leaders and new titles in director of performance Art Horne and director of sport science Johann Bilsborough. Horne spent the past two season as the head trainer with the Atlanta Hawks and Bilsborough has been on the Celtics staff since 2015. The shakeup paved the way for the departure of team trainer Ed Lacerte, strength coach Bryan Doo, and massage therapist Vladimir Shulman.

While Doo chose to leave rather than except a different role with the team it sure sounds like the decision to remove Lacerte was a difficult one for the Celtics, and in particular president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. He's been a stalwart on the Celtics bench since way back to the original big-three years as this would have been his 31st season with the team. Ainge noted when bringing in new faces and new ideology it's difficult to keep current staff in place and the front office thought it would be best to part ways, tough as that may be. Via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:

“We’re certainly not pointing the finger at [Lacerte, Doo, or Shulman] as bad,” Ainge said. “It’s just that when you’re making changes, it’s hard to bring in people into a new organization with ideas and control over departments. It’s just hard on everybody, and so we just decided to move in a different direction.”

With the Celtics set to move into a brand new state-of-the-art training facility next offseason, which was overseen by Bilsborough, there may have been some questions among the training staff as to what the future would hold and the pecking order going forawrd. Lacerte had been in his position longer than any other trainer in the NBA, surviving many coaches and front office personnel changes along the way. He helped the Celtics to a title back in 2008 and also served as the trainer for the greatest basketball team in the history of the universe, the 1992 US Olympic team - The Dream Team.

Lacerte was a fan-favorite in Boston for sure, and Ainge said the Celtics will always remember everything he did to help the team:

“I will always be grateful for Eddie and the team success he helped us have,” Ainge said. “He’s a good person, he’s a hard worker, and he’s a very confident trainer. We’ll always be grateful for him.”

As for Doo, Ainge says he'll remember him for his infectious energy and terrific motivational skills:

“There were many, many days when he’d be working out a player or running wind sprints with an injured player who was trying to get back, and B. Doo was doing all the exercises with the player,” Ainge said. “I always appreciated that.”

It's sad to see the Celtics move on from some great guys who have become fixtures with the team. I doubt that fans of most teams are as familiar with the members of their training staff as Celtics fans were with theirs.

Photo Credit - Associated Press

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