I've lost count of how many times I've read or heard this story coming from Danny Ainge. He must be really tired of telling it (or really eager to). It just paints such a perfect image of the brash young Ainge and his mentality of success over sentimentality.
"First of all, it's a different era,'' said Ainge. "I sat with Red [Auerbach] during a Christmas party [20 years ago]. Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself, and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time, and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red, ‘What are you doing? Why are you waiting?'
"He had a chance to trade Larry [to Indiana] for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and [Steve] Stipanovich, and he had a chance to trade Kevin [to Dallas] for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was, like, ‘Are you kidding?'
"I mean, I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kinds of deals for our aging veterans, it's a done deal, to continue the success.
Despite a policy of not commenting directly on trade rumors, there are a lot of that Danny could at least attempt to quiet the talk of "blowing it up" surrounding the team. He could speak anonymously as a "team executive" to the press. He could give his current players a lot more public support. He could let it be known around the league that none of his Big 4 are available at this time. He's done none of that.
Instead, he's made sure everyone knew that everyone is available for a price. He obviously hasn't gotten an offer he deems worth it to pull the trigger yet, but you can be sure he's been on the phone a lot. In fact, he's even told the world that there's a very real timetable involved.
"Sure, I think in the next few weeks I'll have a better feel. If the pattern continues like it is now, then I think that our hopes diminish, of course.
"It still doesn't mean we do anything, because there may not be opportunities to do anything. But I think that we'll have a better feel rather than a 12-game sample.''
In other words, the team has got another month or so - if that - to prove they are still contenders. Despite my arguments (Danny doesn't read blogs much, and I think I like that about him), it doesn't sound like Ainge will hesitate to hit the blinking red detonate button if he gets the right price in return.
Which leaves just one all-important question: What's the right price?