NBA: Danny Ainge Executive Of The Year...Are You Kidding?

John LewisSenior Writer IMay 15, 2008

I like the Boston Celtics and Danny Ainge just as much as the next guy and think the C's are the best team in the league but Danny Ainge is far from being the NBA Executive of The Year.  Look at his tenure with the Celts: crazy draft picks and trades that made no sense.  This award is a joke if the NBA thinks Ainge is the top executive.

His acceptance speech better give thanks to Kevin McHale and the seven players for the lopsided trade to obtain Kevin Garnett, as well as his draft day trade to land Ray Allen.  Without these two trades Ainge's leadership, or lack thereof, would've been somewhat of a mystery.

Let's rewind back a few years and look at some of the lousy trades like when Ainge and the Celts traded Brandon Roy in a multi-player deal that eventually brought Sebastian Telfair to Boston.  Roy was the 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year and has averaged nearly 20 points per game in his two NBA seasons.  Telfair was terrible and could only muster six points per game in his only season in Boston.

Even before bringing Telfair to the Bay State, Ainge has often been controversial as he's traded three-time All-Star Antoine Walker, only to get him back through a trade. Then Ainge ran off head coach Jim O'Brien, who had a record of 139-119 just as the Celts were recovering from the Rick Pitino debacle. 

The team hit rock bottom last season with a 24-58 record, the second worst record in team history, and had fans asking if the players had just given up in order to get a top draft pick.  

In my opinion Ainge has done a lackluster job in his six seasons in Beantown and yet somehow has remained in charge of the team.  At least Boston fans can be excited with Garnett, Pierce and Allen running the show.

But you can just add him to the list of former Celtics that have dropped the ball in taking their team to the next level.  In fact the best leader in team history, Red Auerbach, didn't even play one minute in the NBA.  It just goes to show that you don't have to be an ex NBA player to be great in the front office.