This is the first of many "Thank You" posts I'll be doing (a few a day till I'm done) to commemorate the season and to build upon this original post.
How fitting is it that the man that brought a Championship back to town was also a key part of the last two titles? What he's done here is nothing short of remarkable.
He tore down a bad team that was already a shell of the team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then he set about building it up with draft picks and young talent. There were a few "sideways" moves as he would call them. A few attempts to piece together a competitive team for a stretch or two. But always he held onto his biggest trade chips in hopes of hitting a home run. And boy did he ever knock it out of the park.
And give the man credit for following through too. Bob Ryan was right to declare that the Celtics were an incomplete team after the Kevin Garnett trade went down. But Danny went out and picked up key pieces to fill in around the New Big Three, including Big Game James, Eddie House, and defensive genius Tom Thibodeau. Then he kept two roster spots open so that he could aquire PJ Brown and Sam Cassell for the stretch drive and playoffs.
In addition, I can't post this without once again giving him credit for sticking with Doc Rivers. It seemed like everyone was ready to toss Doc under the bus and blame him for the last few seasons of futility except for the one man that actually had the power to. Danny saw something there that we didn't, and he gets all the credit in the world for sticking to his guns and actually giving Doc a contract extension.
Simply a brilliant job by Danny who rightfully won GM of the Year. I am totally behind Wyc in wanting to retire Danny's 44 in the rafters with his old teammates and the rest of the greats. However, it sounds like he'll have none of that. No big deal. Banner 17 is enough. We won't forget who got us there.
Thank You Danny Ainge.
(Note: Nice article on Ainge by Steve Bulpett today)