Danny Ainge on Wednesday spoke on why he returned to a full time front office role so swiftly after "retiring" from the Celtics. I think we all knew it wasn't a retirement. Now was he asked to step down? Some people are speculating just that, but I think he really just wanted a change.
The Celtics had been idling in neutral and there was no sure path back to the NBA Finals, so last June seemed like a good time to call it a chapter. Plus I'm sure the Utah Jazz fan pressure and media will be a lot easier on Ainge's health than their Boston counterparts.
“I’ve taken six or seven months off, and I’ve gotten a good break,” Ainge said during a press conference Wednesday. “I feel like I’m energized and ready to come back and get back to work. This is a different role, a unique role, getting the opportunity to work with ownership and work with [head coach] Quin [Snyder] and [GM] Justin [Zanik] and what they’re doing. I’m anxious to get back and get to work.”
“I needed a break from Boston. And by the way, my 26 years in Boston were an amazing experience. I’ll always be grateful. One of the greatest things I’ve learned in this business was the relationships you build. Championship rings are our goals, and that’s what you really build a bond when you are trying to work for a championship. But the things I really cherish over those 26 years are the relationships that I developed. Those will always be there."
Again it's possible the Celtics ownership encouraged Danny to step down, but personally I think it was his decision. Ainge's family is in Utah, he went to college there, and Danny is a Mormon. Add in the aforementioned less stressful Utah market and you can see why Ainge would find the change exciting. The fact that the Jazz have played some great basketball the past couple years doesn't hurt either.
Excited for this next chapter with the Jazz! This is an amazing team with great leadership. Here we go! #TakeNote