Danny Ainge remains to be at work, although he acknowledges the coronavirus-based uncertainty that clouds the highway forward.
Will there be extra of the 2019-20 NBA season? Will there be common season video games? Will the league transfer on to the playoffs? When will the draft be held, and what will probably be the additional process for evaluating gamers? Is commissioner Adam Silver going to cancel the remainder of this marketing campaign and begin the new one subsequent December as a Christmas reward?
“I don’t know any of that,” the Celtics’ president of basketball operations mentioned on a Wednesday teleconference with reporters. “I believe Adam has some robust selections, however I belief him and what he’s doing. The Board of Governors, I believe they’re going to do what’s best.
“But I’m holding out hope that we’re still going to play some basketball this year. That’s just me being a fan. I don’t really have any inside information on that.”
For now, Ainge is solely attempting to maintain the basketball blood flowing all through the group.
“This is a time for the really self-motivated that are going to be able to take advantage of this opportunity in their career to get stronger, to get in greater condition,” he mentioned. “We’re approaching this like we’re going to return to play and that we’re going to be enjoying playoff basketball. And we’re staying in contact. We are having convention calls the place we’ve got visitor audio system, motivational audio system, that tackle all of our guys on Zoom. We are doing exercises with the coaches and with the power coaches by way of Zoom and so forth.
“So we’re trying to do all we can. Some players are better than others at doing things on their own and doing extra work, and some players are more compliant than others, some are harder to reach than others, but for the most part, I’ve been impressed with how our players have bought in and the work that’s going on behind the scenes.”
As for who these audio system have been?
“Maybe I don’t want to say that, just because maybe they’ll get bombarded by other people that read this. But we’ve had… Mark Wahlberg, was great. He was a lot of fun. Our players got a good kick out of him. He had some pretty good stories. LL Cool J, his story is pretty fascinating. Jim Cash (one of the Celts’ board of directors), who’s always magnificent to listen to, had some great wisdom and knowledge for the players. And we had Dr. Myron Rolle, who has a fascinating story (neurosurgery resident, former NFL player), here at Mass General. So, yeah, we’ve had some very inspirational speakers.”
Meanwhile, Ainge isn’t letting the unpredictability of his job get in the manner.
“It’s not difficult,” he mentioned. “You still have to study and watch players. You still have to do background checks and gather information on players, and you still have to keep working and preparing as if the draft was going to happen on June 25 until we hear otherwise. I don’t think any of us anticipates that will be the case, but it’s possible. And we’ve been allowed to do some calls with some of the seniors, but they haven’t gotten the underclassmen list out yet. We won’t be able to have any communication with them until after that, but, yeah, there’s a lot of preparation. The reason I was a few minutes late (for this media call) is because we were just finishing up a conference call with my staff. And we do that three or four days a week, and we go through entire conferences and talk about all the players in the whole conference, and that’s what we’ve been doing this morning.”
As for the risk the league should forego pre-draft periods in Chicago and Virginia, Ainge places inventory in the alternative for nearer contact with potential picks. But it’s not an absolute necessity.
“Let’s just take Rajon Rondo as an example,” he mentioned. “Had I not been able to see him in the draft workout and sat down and talked with him and looked into his eyes, I don’t think I would have drafted him. So I think there is value in that. At the same time we drafted Avery Bradley without any draft workouts. We drafted Steve Nash back in our Phoenix days without a draft workout. So I think you don’t always get guys in for draft workouts, but you have to be prepared to take guys. That’s why we’re doing so much homework at this time and taking advantage of getting ahead of the game in case we don’t get draft workouts. But we’ll be prepared.”
Ainge and his NBA friends clearly received’t have the good thing about a whole NCAA season and the probability for higher analysis, notably of freshmen. Asked whether or not that hurts, he mentioned, “It does some. I believe generally we overvalue a recreation efficiency in a giant recreation in a giant second, however yeah.
“First of all, it’s the most fun time of the year, conference tournaments, getting ready for the playoffs, the Masters. It’s killing me. Oh, man, we’re missing out on a lot — the Red Sox opening day and early part of baseball season. So anyway, it has been fun being at home though, and watching the past Celtics games with my kids, my younger boys in particular that don’t really have memories of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan and so forth. It’s been kind of fun.”
And, sure, depend Ainge amongst the tens of millions who tuned in for the Jordan/Bulls documentary, “The Last Dance.”
“Yeah, I watched it with my family, with my two youngest boys and their wives, and it was fun because they didn’t have much recollection of it,” he mentioned. “When I would chime in to add a comment on something that was going on, they pretty much gave me the hush, like, ‘We’re listening to this. We don’t care what you have to say. We want to listen to this documentary.’ So they were really, really into it. And that was kind of fun to see how excited and interested they were and how little they knew of that whole era and how little they knew about Michael. Not just how good of a player he was. They’d obviously heard that. But just intrigued by who he was.”
In phrases of the present NBA, the intrigue facilities on the thriller of what occurs subsequent and, with Silver saying that getting in the remainder of this season might delay the subsequent, what impact all of it might have.
“I honestly don’t know,” Ainge mentioned. “I mean, we don’t even know if we’re going to play or when we’re going to play. So, like, that’s just hypothetical conversations that I don’t really get that involved in. Listen, it’s going to be the same for every team, and whatever happens happens. And right now we’re preparing to play — come back and play — and that’s all we can do. And we’re preparing for the draft, we’re preparing for free agency, and, I mean, there’s nothing else we can do, except keep our players prepared and to be prepared for whatever comes our way.”
If it involves enjoying video games in in any other case empty venues, Ainge is ok with that.
“It’s not as much fun. It’s not ideal,” he mentioned. “But it’s better than not playing. Listen, I’ve gone to college games and high school gyms and there’s like 40 or 50 people in the building, and, you know, it’s still a good game. I’ve been involved in practices where there are zero fans in the room, and it is intense and it is a battle. Matter of fact, there’s many times where I said, like, ‘I wish you guys would play as hard against our opponents as you play against one another.’ So I think that it’s not ideal, but I think it could work.”
Speaking of labor, Ainge posted a video of himself taking pictures in his driveway, whereas his son’s French bulldog, Lil’ Weezy, supplied the protection.
“That’s mostly directed towards Jayson (Tatum), just to let him know that I had a hoop right there,” mentioned Ainge, referring to Tatum’s remark that he doesn’t have a spot to shoot. “He can come use it any time he wants. It’s all his. I can even loan him Lil’ Weezy Dog to play defense for him on his ball-handling drills.”