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Was Danny Ainge the most-despised player in the NBA?

A thin 6'5" in the 1980's, Danny Ainge looked like the president of your high school science club, but he never backed away from a fight or any type of confrontation. But unless you were a Celtics fan, you probably despised him.


His most infamous scuffle involved Atlanta's Tree Rollins, resulting in the "Tree Bites Man" headlines when Rollins chomped down on Danny's digit. But Ainge was so hated by opponents, many still think it was Danny that did the biting. There were many dust-ups involving the guy now called "Trader Danny", and many are encapsulated in the following video. Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Mario Elie and Sam Cassell are only a few of Ainge's combatants. Take a look.



Ainge may have been hated by most opponents, but he was often praised by those who admired his ferocious competitiveness(per LA Times' Joe Hamelin):

"He's the best all-around athlete that I've ever seen." - Larry Bird on Danny Ainge

“Ainge is an effort player. There is no better competitor in the game.” --Pat Riley

"I wish I had four Danny Ainge’s as teammates. With his desire and hustle, we’d never lose a game.” --Chicago’s Michael Jordan

Love him or hate, you had to admire Danny's incendiary nature on the court. His more-controlled manner as Celtics boss belies the fire that still burns inside him. We are lucky to have him in Boston.


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