Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck doesn’t want to speak for Danny Ainge.
But speaking with Felger & Mazz on Tuesday, Grousbeck seemed certain that Ainge’s days of running the day-to-day operations of an NBA team are behind him.
“My sense — and I’m very close to Danny and talk to him all the time — is there’s nothing imminent,” Grousbeck said when asked about the rumors linking Ainge, who retired from his post with the Celtics earlier this month, to the Utah Jazz. “There’s nothing happening. At some point, for all I know, if he can’t become a golf pro, a touring golf pro, he might get back into the the the basketball game. And I wouldn’t blame him. He’s been in it 44 years, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a general manager again. I think that that chapter is probably closed.”
While there’s ‘nothing imminent’ if you ask him, Grousbeck noted that the Jazz would not need permission from the Celtics to hire Ainge should they choose to pair him with general manager Justin Zanik in some sort of role. Grousbeck was also quick to note that Ainge was not fired, quit, or asked to step down from as the Green’s president of basketball operations, and instead chose to say that Ainge “gracefully retired” after 19 years with the team.
“I’m happy for Danny,” said Grousbeck. “I’m very happy for Danny that he was able to make a choice and do what felt right to him. And he’s got my total support, the whole organization’s total support. And he’s going to be fine.
“He’s going to be happy and he’s going to do whatever he wants to do.”
As for the next era of Celtics basketball, Grousbeck is all in on the Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka combo.
In fact, once Stevens’ name made the C’s list of potential Ainge replacements, it was really as simple as that for Grousbeck, while Udoka quickly emerged as the Celtics’ No. 1 candidate in what started as a list of 12 candidates.
“I think that they are both energized,” Grousbeck said of the green Stevens-Udoka front office tandem. “They’re both fired up and they’re both like, whatever, 44-year-old sort of I guess to me they’re young guns because they’re a lot younger than I am. But they’re fired up. And I just feel good about that team in our front office.”
You can listen to Grousbeck’s complete interview with the guys in the player below.