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How would Red Auerbach rate Danny Ainge's performance?


Things are so vastly different in the NBA today than they were in 1956. Making comparisons between General Managers in that era and those in the modern League is difficult, but here we go.

Red is listed as both Coach and Executive in 1956. He was basically the Front Office. The 2020 list goes well over 100 names. There were only eight teams in the League in the mid-50's. There are 30 now.

Simplicity reigned in the 50's. Auerbach made virtually all of the decisions, from determining substitutions during games to scouting potential draft picks and negotiating player contracts. Players generally hung around on the same team for their entire careers. But today, Danny Ainge has employees to handle most of the tasks, and the game of "Musical Players" has become an epidemic.

So, who has had it tougher, Red or Danny? Red worked his butt off, but the daily process was not complicated. Auerbach was in charge, and the Celtics organization was as close to a dictatorship as existed in Boston Not so today. It has become a players' League. No question about it - Ainge has it tougher than Auerbach. Red would not agree with that (I don't believe), but I do.

I simply don't understand the criticisms surrounding Danny Ainge's management of the Boston Celtics. Hell, he was mentored by Auerbach, and two heart attacks later,  his troops always seem to be in serious contention. Boston fans may want another dynasty, but that is unrealistic in today's NBA. 

So the crusty old Red Auerbach's only criticism of Danny may be his trading away of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett before their skills faded away, even though that deal brought the Jay Team, referred to as "Franchise Pillars" by NBA TV's Tom Penn, to TD Garden. I really like where the Celtics stand for the upcoming season - and beyond. If this was 1956, Red may frown on what Danny has accomplished. But in 2020, he would beam on his protege's success with the team that Auerbach resurrected from the doldrums.



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