Just over six months after he retired from his role as the president of basketball operations with the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge is back in the NBA. On Wednesday, Ainge joined the Utah Jazz as an alternate governor and CEO. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ainge, who had held the role since 2003, was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2008 for assembling the Celtics’ Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. That team went on to win the NBA Finals. Ainge’s legacy in Boston also includes the 2013 with the Brooklyn Nets, in which he went Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn in exchange for multiple future first-round picks that he then used to select Jayson Tatum and trade for Kyrie Irving.
“I trust my instincts, and my instincts told me a couple months ago that it was time for me to move on,” Ainge said at his Celtics retirement press conference back in January. “That’s what is best for us. That’s what’s best for the Celtics.”
“For the record, Danny came and said it’s his time. It’s completely his decision with no support whatsoever from ownership in making that decision,” Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck added at the time. “No support was offered except for wishing him the best once it became clear that was his decision.”
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