Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Leading up to the draft, Ainge delved into his philosophies on the process, and not surprisingly, at least some of them can be traced back to Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach.
“I talked with Red a lot, back when I was a player and when I got the job here,” Ainge said. “Red’s advice is, ‘You listen to everybody, but you’ve got to go with your gut, what it tells you. Don’t be afraid to take a chance.’ Red was a gambler and a free spirit and that did well for him.”
And while Ainge is very much his own man with his own views, he agreed that he’s similar to Auerbach in that regard: a gambler, a free spirit.
“I’d much rather miss a putt doing it my way than miss a putt listening to my caddie and he reads it wrong,” Ainge said. “Whether I read it wrong or right, I’d rather miss it my way.”
This piece is a very good look at how Ainge and his operations team approach the draft. They, like every other team, put in countless hours of research. They have a staff that can conjure up a video file full of the most intricate details on any player, and they have logged thousands of miles of travel to see things with their own eyes. If the Celtics are indeed making their own selections at 6 and 17 on Thursday night, there’s very little they won’t know.
It’s how they apply that knowledge that’s the key. You need look no further than the comments after a game recap to see how many different people have different takes on the same set of events. Some people have Aaron Gordon ranked high enough to take at 6. Some don’t. That’s the nature of the beast.
I’m right with Ainge on the golf analogy. There are few feelings worse than second guessing a wrong decision based on someone else making a call you could have avoided. It’s hard to let that feeling go.
It’s also a sign of a good leader. I’d rather work for a guy with the attitude of “if I screw up, I want it to be because of my own decision” than the guy who thinks “great, someone else spoke up, now I can blame that guy if this goes south but take credit if works because I’M STILL THE BOSS!”
Ever wonder how a guy who keeps screwing up seems to stay in his high-ranking position? That’s because he’s that second guy.
We don’t know yet whether the Celtics will even be making these picks for themselves on Thursday or if Ainge will simply be making picks for Minnesota. If the Celtics make these picks, we just have to hope that this tireless effort and years of experience lead the Celtics to the right guy to make this rebuild go quickly.
Let’s hope Danny knows how to read this green.
Page 2: Brad Stevens’ head isn’t swimming anymore
Even facing a mountain of uncertainty as the Celtics look to accelerate their rebuilding process this summer — knowing that, if no deals are available, they could be treading lottery water once again — Stevens is buoyed by experience.
“Just understanding the calendar, understanding what we want to do systematically, I feel 10 times better than what I did last year at this time,” he said. “Now, that doesn’t guarantee anything, but at the end of the day, at least when I come to work, my head’s not swimming like it was last July.”
It’s amazing how much more comfortable you feel the second time around at something. Just knowing the pitfalls of the calendar is a huge boost to Brad Stevens’ ability as a coach to prepare for the upcoming season. A year ago he was flying to Rondo’s camp to introduce himself and meeting players for the first time as they showed up to watch summer league in Orlando. Now, Stevens is preparing practices for his summer squad and mapping out a post-draft plan.
At this level, it’s the little things that make the difference. Take care of the little things and the big things will fall in line. Of course, one of the little things is finding a new assistant coach now that Ron Adams has bolted for Golden State. I’d love to see Stevens get another long-time NBA guy to join the mix to keep that balance. I liked how he constructed his staff last year, and I think that another veteran-coach from outside the franchise would work in this situation. As Stevens gets more experience, he can groom some of his own guys and promote from within, but I still think he’s at a point where he needs more of an outside perspective to help him along.
Good luck to Ron Adams, by the way. as he goes home to most likely finish off his coaching career.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Lots of options for Celtics at 17 | Globe: Choice of NBA position will be crucial for Aaron Gordon | Boston.com: Carmelo Anthony will reportedly opt out of Knicks contract | CSNNE: Adams to join Warriors | Stevens heavy involvement in prospect workouts | Genetic disorder ends Isaiah Austin’s career | ESPN Boston: Celtics must consider all options