I'm not ready to label Wyc & company the Dan Snyders of the NBA. However, I do perk my ears up just a bit when I hear two reports in two days that suggest that they overruled Danny Ainge. To be fair, Sam Smith is not what I'd consider a reliable source, but I trust Steve Bulpett to report only what he's heard.
The Sam Smith Report:
There could be an interesting internal dispute brewing in the Celtics' organization after their playoff collapse against the Pacers, in which they lost three games at home. General manager Danny Ainge wanted no part of Antoine Walker, who got himself suspended for his dumb act of pushing a referee earlier in the series. Ainge wanted to build a young team in the image of his former teams. But you can't do that with ball-hog pieces like Walker and Paul Pierce. The latter was difficult and disruptive all season and neither was much of a role model. Look for Boston to try to deal Pierce and probably let Walker and Gary Payton go.
The Steve Bulpett Report:
Word around the league is that Ainge didn't want to give [Blount] the six-year deal last summer. The call allegedly came from above. It was stated here at the time that going to the contractual wall for Blount was shaky, because there were bigger problems if the Celts didn't think Kendrick Perkins [news] would be a better option in time. The club will try hard to move Blount to a place where he'll be happier, but his 15 percent trade bonus and his performance this season have made it exceedingly difficult.
Again, I'm not going to pass judgment on the ownership without all the facts. On the radio Wyc went out of his way to say that while he makes the final decision, he bases all his basketball opinions on Danny's advice. Still, you have to wonder if some box office related influences may have conflicted with Danny's basketball advice, leading to a direction he wasn't all that comfortable with. If any of this is true, then you could see why Danny may not have signed an extension. He may be seeking more of a final say in his job description.