Danny Ainge. The man who saved the famed Boston Celtics franchise from complete NBA obscurity.
How he did it, we will never know. But as a Boston fan, I am sure as hell thankful he did.
It was July 31st, 2007, and it was the day the Boston Celtics were changed forever. Ainge somehow, some way, finagled a deal with Minnesota Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale to bring tortured superstar, Kevin Garnett, to Boston.
It remains the biggest deal in NBA history that returned only a single player.
The Celtics traded five players and two first-round draft picks, and in return, they got hope. With Paul Pierce playing team captain, Ray Allen playing clutch shooter, and Garnett playing defensive enforcer, the Celtics went on to win their ever elusive 17th championship.
Now, four years later, we are left to wonder.
What did Ainge plan to do when these guys got too old? Was there ever a plan? Are the Celtics going to move forward with Rajon Rondo as their leader?
Celtics fans are hoping that Ainge's plan involves an athletic center from the Orlando Magic. If Danny can pull this off, and bring No. 12 to Boston, he will go down as one of the greatest GMs in NBA history.