I know many fans are hurt from the - I AM A CELTIC - mantra that we heard from Doc; and we are all tired to a certain extent of the rationale, that well, everything is a business; this might very well be the chink in the armor that mutually dawned on both Danny and Doc. Danny loyalty was to the organization and upper management and Doc's was to the players as the ultimate players coach.
In light or all the recent fires in the NBA, particularly to coaches with 50+ wins and deep playoff runs, there is schism between the coaches and GMs and it is quite possible those roles will be more formally consolidated in the future.
It has been reported that - with the Clippers - Doc is going to have formal input with player selection: since the Clippers already has a player operations executive, the contract hold-up could have to do with Doc making sure that this language is clearly spelled out; just speculation on my part, but it makes sense.
This is just speculation, but Doc change of heart quite possibly could be a realization that to really implement a vision of with a specific culture, you have to have direct input in selecting the groceries. This is not unreasonable as Pat Riley came to the same conclusion when he left the New York Knicks; Bill Parcells, to that conclusion when he left the Patriots; Jerry Jones has maintained the role of GM even though he is owner; and Bill Belechick and Greg Popovich essentially has the role with the now with the Patriots and Spurs.
Doc possible relooked at his statement about Pop and Jerry Sloan and see the decision Jerry made when the Deron Williams ordeal blew up and although their GM Kevin Connor ultimately traded Deron for a ton of assets, Kevin, ultimately has lost his job and now all of sudden, Jerry Sloan is back consulting with the Jazz in a management capacity (along with Karl Malone, formally with the young big men). This, in my opinion, is the intrinsic value that Danny is being somewhat shortsighted about with the abrupt dangling of Ray Allen, KG, PP, and now Doc. Danny's approach may well be right, but in my opinion, Doc would have led the transition differently - being loyal to his veterans and forcing the new young guys to earn their keep by adapting to the culture.
Danny and Doc might not disagree at all, but it goes to roles and responsibilities, and this could have been one of the discussions when GM Ryan McDonough moved to his new role with the Suns. It could have been that both Danny and Doc thought that at $7.0MM during a transition should have included a larger role, one that Danny could not see giving Doc in Boston, but mutually agree that it could happen in LA.
If this is what eventually comes out, I think the fans who feel betrayal should temper their feelings a bit, because it makes a lot of sense where the NBA possibly needs to head; particularly for coaches that are elite. Doc and Danny possibly saw good coaches and GM being recycled at whim of the new superstar formations: what happen to Mike Brown and Danny Ferry in Cleveland with the Lebron "Decision" - only for the owner to rehire Mike Brown again; Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith in Orlando with the "Dwightmare"; Mike Dantoni and Donnie Walsh with the "Melo" drama; George Karl with the post-Melo drama; Avery Johnson and PJ Carlesimo; Ryan Hollins - only to them hire one of his assistants; and finally with Vinny Del Negro with the Clippers.
I think Doc was all for rebuilding and is all for Ubuntu, in fact, he will preach the exact same thing to our dismay over in Clipperland, but I think, he now believes he has to have a direct hand in selecting the groceries so that he more effectively transitions a team and still maintains his identity (i.e. culture) as the ultimate players coach.
Some might think that the fault of a players coach is that he falls in love with his players to a fault and misses the opportunity to get value for them in the marketplace; and while Doc may have done this with his original Big Three - his dependence on veterans, I think Doc felt that the intrinsic value (to borrow an investment strategy from Warren Buffet) is greater than the market price Danny might think he has or can get.
I tend to agree with Doc's valuation methodology in this situation; it is apparent that Doc has made the case that KG, PP, and even Ray Allen were his guys and they were his bridge to the future and while we all know his professed love for KG and the IT FACTOR, I heard him state in an interview that he told Ray and Paul the importance of retiring Celtics. In my opinion, none of the actions that I have seen to date, make Doc depart from that. As Ronald Regan once stated, he did not move from the Democratic Party, the Party moved away from his core and principle ideals.
The Kendrick Perkins trade, the Ray Allen departure, along with the ceaseless dangling of KG and Pierce, might have been more than Doc could stomach; along with seeing so many in the coaching fraternity lose their jobs, many for absurd reasoning. The fact that the it was Doc and the Big Three that formally went out to recruit Rasheed Wallace speaks volumes to a continuity approach; the fact that Shaq when he missed a practice only felt accountable to Doc and the Big Three, in his apology, speaks volumes, the fact that it is obvious that KG, PP, and Doc were not as in favor to trade Ray Allen, per comments by OJ Mayo speaks volumes. People forget that Doc became more active in free agency with the acquisition of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, while asking for their Unbutu sacrifices in playing time and touches. For Unbutu to work Doc, wedded himself to the Big Three, and it is my feeling once Danny started to tinker with that, Doc started to have a change of heart. People are asking why did Doc sign up for five years then and thus a transition away from the Big Three (their view, not Docs) without acknowledging the NO TRADE Clauses given to both KG and Ray Allen that would have locked them essentially in for Doc most of Doc's remaining tenure. Even though the league has put the brakes on KG joining Doc in Clipperland, I would not be surprised to see PP end up there and for Ray Allen to opt out of contract in Miami and join Doc out there, for one more run.
I think Doc in his mind is trying to bridge the gap between between, "Ubuntu" and "in the end it is a business" forcs him to take on a new role. This is not to say Doc can never cut or trade a player, for he has shown with his playing time process and DNPs, what he really feels about you in earning the the trust in the inner-circle of Ubuntu. Indeed part of that decision might include that Rajon Rondo may or may not have entered into Doc's Ubuntu's circle; but perhaps this rationale might ease his mind as to Doc's decision or why Jeff Green stated that he understands because in the end it did come down to "the business side".
I think the fact that Doc could be negotiating that clause in his Clipper contract sheds light on some changes in his thinking after a period of nine years of working with his best friend Danny Ainge. The cold reality that if you want to bring a culture, like Ubuntu, you have have to have "contractual" ownership of selecting the groceries - because it is also a business. From some of the reporting from Jackie MacMullan, Danny might see this too, and as it has been suggested he might leave his lofty spot and come down and coach the Celtics - at least during this transition. Pat Riley made this decision when he parted ways from one of his mentees Stan Van Gundy, and eventually hired another one of his mentees Eric Spoelstra. Perhaps Danny and Doc are to good of friends for this type of mentor and mentee relationship and actually need their own Kingdoms.
If indeed it comes out that Doc has rights and direct influence to shop for the groceries, this Celtic fan would have his - much sorted after - rationale for why such a breakup could occur.