Danny Ainge

Daniel Ray Ainge (born March 17, 1959) is an American basketball executive and former professional basketball and baseball player. Ainge is currently the general manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Ainge was an outstanding high school athlete. At Brigham Young University, he was named national basketball college player of the year and won the John R. Wooden Award for the most outstanding male college basketball player. While in college, Ainge also played parts of three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB), mostly as a second baseman. He was then drafted into the NBA by the Celtics. Ainge completed 14 seasons, playing for the Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, primarily as a shooting guard. He went on to coach the Suns for three seasons before joining management of the Celtics, with whom Ainge has three NBA Championships to his credit (two as a player, one as President/GM).

He is the only person to be named a high school first team All-American in American football, basketball, and baseball.

Danny Ainge
Danny, calm as always
Ainge during the Celtics'
championship parade in 2008
Boston Celtics
PositionGeneral manager / President of basketball operations
LeagueNBA
Personal information
BornMarch 17, 1959 (age 60)
Eugene, Oregon
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolNorth Eugene (Eugene, Oregon)
CollegeBYU (1977–1981)
NBA draft1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career1981–1995
PositionShooting guard
Number44, 7, 9, 22
Career history
As player:
19811989Boston Celtics
19891990Sacramento Kings
19901992Portland Trail Blazers
19921995Phoenix Suns
As coach:
19961999Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As executive:

Career NBA statistics
Points11,964 (11.5 ppg)
Assists4,199 (4.0 apg)
Steals1,133 (1.1 spg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early sports playing career

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Ainge starred in high school on his football team and led North Eugene High School to back-to-back state basketball championships in 1976 and 1977, earning all-state honors both years; he was considered one of the top prep football recruits in the state of Oregon. As a junior, he was named to the 1977 Parade magazine High School All-America team. Ainge is the only person to be a high school first team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball.

Ainge played basketball at Brigham Young University (BYU). He hit one of the best-known shots in the 1981 NCAA March Madness tournament against Notre Dame when his coast-to-coast drive with seven seconds remaining gave the Cougars a one-point win. Ainge concluded his senior year by winning the Eastman Award, as well as the John R. Wooden Award—given to the best collegiate player in the nation. During his four-year career at BYU, Ainge was an All-American, a two-time First Team Academic All-American, the WAC Player of the Year and a four-time All-WAC selection. He concluded his college career having scored in double figures in 112 consecutive games, an NCAA record at that time.

Baseball career

Danny Ainge
Second baseman / Third baseman
Born: March 17, 1959 (age 60)
Eugene, Oregon
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 21, 1979, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1981, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
Batting average.220
Home runs2
Runs batted in37
Teams

Ainge was selected in baseball's 1977 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He made it to the major leagues with the Blue Jays in 1979 while still in college. Mostly a second baseman, he played third base and outfield positions as well, hitting .220 in his baseball career with 2 home runs and 146 hits in 211 games. He is the second-youngest player in Blue Jays history to hit a home run, at 20 years and 77 days, surpassed only by Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.

After three years with the Blue Jays, Ainge decided to pursue a career in basketball and was chosen in the 1981 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, who had to buy out Ainge's contract from the Blue Jays after a legal battle.

Ainge is among the 13 athletes who have played in both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, along with Frank Baumholtz, Gene Conley, Chuck Connors, Dave DeBusschere, Johnny Gee, Dick Groat, Steve Hamilton, Mark Hendrickson, Cotton Nash, Ron Reed, Dick Ricketts, and Howie Schultz. [1]

NBA career

Not everything went well for Ainge in NBA basketball at first. He had a terrible first day of practice, "shooting 0–2547", Larry Bird wrote in his autobiography Drive: The Story of My Life. Celtics head coach Bill Fitch gave Ainge a rough time, saying his batting average was better than his shooting percentage on the basketball court. But Ainge became an important piece of the Celtics teams that won the NBA title in 1984 and 1986.

Ainge was known as a brash, hard-nosed player who often infuriated opponents. In a 1983 playoff game against Atlanta, he called 7-foot, 1-inch Tree Rollins a sissy, whereupon Rollins elbowed Ainge in the face. Ainge tackled Rollins and the two began wrestling. Tree bit Ainge's middle finger so hard that it required two stitches to keep the tendon together. Ainge was ejected from the contest for starting the fight. The incident prompted the headline "Tree Bites Man" on the April 25, 1983, Boston Herald.[2] While playing for the Phoenix Suns, Ainge got into a tussle with Michael Jordan at midcourt; both were given a technical foul. In a 1994 postseason game, Ainge rifled an inbounding pass at the head of Houston Rockets guard Mario Elie, striking him in the face, snapping his neck back.[3][4][5]

In 1989, Ainge was traded to the Sacramento Kings for young center Joe Kleine, whom the Celtics saw as a possible successor to the aging Robert Parish, and Ed Pinckney.

In 1990, Ainge was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Byron Irvin and draft picks. Being a native of Oregon, he was considered a hometown favorite by Blazers fans. He helped the Blazers reach the 1992 NBA Finals, only to succumb to the Chicago Bulls in six games. On June 5, he scored nine points in the extra period to tie an all-time NBA record for most points in an overtime during a finals game.

After the 1991–92 season, Ainge became a free agent. He had stated in media interviews that he ideally wanted to stay in Portland and would contact Blazers management before seriously entertaining offers from other teams. On July 1, 1992, however, Ainge signed a contract with the Phoenix Suns on his first day of free agency.

The Phoenix Suns were a team looking for a new identity. They inaugurated a new home (America West Arena), hired a new head coach (Paul Westphal), and acquired a new superstar (Charles Barkley). The team also redesigned their logo and uniform when they signed free agent Ainge prior to the 1992–93 season, figuring that his experience would help the team during the playoffs. Ainge responded by scoring 11.8 points per game as the Suns went 62–20 that year and reached the NBA finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan's Bulls in six games.

On January 18, 1994, he became the second man ever to hit 900 three-point shots in NBA history (he made 1,002 three-pointers for his career), and he scored 11,964 points for an average of 11.5 points per game, 2,768 rebounds for an average of 2.7, and 4,199 assists, an average of four per game, over 1,042 NBA games.

Ainge retired after the 1994–95 season. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Post-basketball playing career

While a player with the Blue Jays, Ainge opened a national chain of hat stores which he has since sold. He has volunteered his time at a number of charitable organizations and has held a number of jobs since retiring. He became head coach of the Phoenix Suns in 1996. His resignation from the Suns coaching job was a sudden one; he cited a need to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by assistant coach Scott Skiles. In 2003, he was hired as the Executive Director of Basketball Operations for the Celtics. Ainge also served as a commentator for the NBA on TNT.

In 1996, Danny Ainge made his acting debut on the set of Space Jam playing himself. While only a brief appearance, Ainge was dubbed "The Bad Shot Guy" after catching and shooting the ball at the same time while Charles Barkley roamed the court after having his skills stolen by the Monstars.

Ainge has often been controversial in his role as a Celtics executive, trading popular players such as three-time All-Star Antoine Walker (earning himself the nickname "Trader Dan") and having personality conflicts with then-head coach Jim O'Brien (which eventually led to O'Brien's departure to the Philadelphia 76ers). However, Ainge kept the support of both the Celtics' ownership group and—perhaps most importantly—legendary former head coach Red Auerbach, who was employed by the team as a "senior assistant" until his death in October 2006.

The 2006–07 Celtics finished with a 24–58 record, second-worst in the team's history. Following the season, Paul Pierce, team captain and face of the franchise, expressed frustration with the team's failures. He requested a trade to a contender if management were unable to acquire veteran talent of Pierce's caliber.

Ainge responded with two bold moves that changed the franchise's fortunes almost overnight: the 2007 trades for the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett and the Seattle SuperSonics' Ray Allen immediately returned the Celtics to the ranks of the NBA's elite franchises for the first time since the early 1990s. Together with Pierce, they formed a new "Big Three" and led the Celtics to the NBA's best record (66–16) during the 2007–08 season. It was the most dramatic single-season improvement in league history (42 wins more than the previous year), and it earned Ainge the NBA Executive of the Year Award.

Boston faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, renewing the long rivalry between the two teams. The Celtics won the series in six games, giving the franchise its 17th NBA championship. Danny Ainge held the trophy for the first time since winning in 1986. In October 2008, after the Celtics' championship season, he was promoted to President of Basketball Operations.[6]

On May 3, 2010, Ainge was fined $25K for tossing a towel to distract a Cleveland Cavaliers player shooting a free throw during game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.[1]

In 2013, Ainge traded Garnett and Pierce, along with Jason Terry and D.J. White, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for five players plus the Nets' first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.[7] Boston also received the rights to swap picks with Brooklyn in 2017.[8] It is widely considered one of the most lopsided trades in league history.[9]

On August 22, 2017, Ainge made another blockbuster deal, trading All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, as well as Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić and the rights to the Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star Kyrie Irving.[10] Eight days later, the deal also included a 2020 second round pick from the Miami Heat as compensation relating to a prior injury to Thomas.[11]

Personal life

Ainge and his wife, Michelle, reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts; they have six children (Ashlee, Austin, Tanner, Taylor, Cooper and Crew). Austin Ainge is director of player personnel for the Boston Celtics[12] and like his father, played basketball at BYU. Tanner Ainge is a lawyer and a former political candidate.

Ainge's nephew, Erik Ainge, was the starting quarterback on the football team at the University of Tennessee[13] and was selected by the New York Jets in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Ainge and his family are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which Ainge served as a bishop.

Ainge suffered a mild heart attack in 2009,[14] and another in 2019.[15]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Ainge won an NBA championship

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1981–82 Boston 53 1 10.6 .357 .294 .862 1.1 1.6 0.7 0.1 4.1
1982–83 Boston 80 76 25.6 .496 .172 .742 2.7 3.1 1.4 0.1 9.9
1983–84 Boston 71 3 16.3 .460 .273 .821 1.6 2.3 0.6 0.1 5.4
1984–85 Boston 75 73 34.2 .529 .268 .868 3.6 5.3 1.6 0.1 12.9
1985–86 Boston 80 78 30.1 .504 .356 .904 2.9 5.1 1.2 0.1 10.7
1986–87 Boston 71 66 35.2 .486 .443 .897 3.4 5.6 1.4 0.2 14.8
1987–88 Boston 81 81 37.3 .491 .415 .878 3.1 6.2 1.4 0.2 15.7
1988–89 Boston 45 28 30.0 .460 .374 .891 3.4 4.8 1.2 0.0 15.9
1988–89 Sacramento 28 26 36.7 .452 .387 .813 3.6 6.7 1.5 0.3 20.3
1989–90 Sacramento 75 68 36.4 .438 .374 .831 4.3 6.0 1.5 0.2 17.9
1990–91 Portland 80 0 21.4 .472 .406 .826 2.6 3.6 0.8 0.2 11.1
1991–92 Portland 81 6 19.7 .442 .339 .824 1.8 2.5 0.9 0.2 9.7
1992–93 Phoenix 80 0 27.0 .462 .403 .848 2.7 3.3 0.9 0.1 11.8
1993–94 Phoenix 68 1 22.9 .417 .328 .830 1.9 2.6 0.8 0.1 8.9
1994–95 Phoenix 74 1 18.6 .460 .364 .808 1.5 2.8 0.6 0.1 7.7
Career[16] 1042 508 26.6 .469 .378 .846 2.7 4.0 1.1 0.1 11.5
All-Star 1 0 19.0 .364 .750 .500 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 12.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1982 Boston 10 0 12.9 .422 .500 .769 1.3 1.1 0.2 0.1 5.0
1983 Boston 7 7 28.7 .389 .400 .727 2.0 3.6 0.7 0.1 9.4
1984 Boston 19 0 13.3 .456 .222 .700 0.8 2.0 0.5 0.1 4.8
1985 Boston 21 21 32.7 .466 .438 .769 2.8 5.8 1.5 0.0 11.0
1986 Boston 18 18 36.2 .554 .412 .867 4.2 5.2 2.3 0.1 15.6
1987 Boston 20 19 38.1 .487 .438 .861 2.6 4.6 1.2 0.2 14.8
1988 Boston 17 17 39.4 .386 .328 .881 3.1 6.4 0.5 0.1 11.6
1991 Portland 16 0 17.3 .448 .306 .821 1.8 1.9 0.8 0.2 8.0
1992 Portland 21 0 21.4 .479 .404 .830 1.9 2.3 0.7 0.0 10.6
1993 Phoenix 24 0 24.6 .376 .413 .872 2.5 2.3 0.5 0.1 8.1
1994 Phoenix 10 0 23.0 .458 .425 .714 2.3 2.1 0.6 0.1 8.6
1995 Phoenix 10 0 13.7 .500 .462 .909 1.0 1.0 0.5 0.0 6.0
Career[16] 193 82 26.1 .456 .397 .829 2.3 3.4 0.9 0.1 9.9

Head coaching record

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/legendary/baseball_and_basketball_players.shtml
  2. ^ "'Tree Bites Man' Entered Basketball Lexicon 29 Years Ago Tuesday When Tree Rollins Bit Danny Ainge". April 24, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Basketball Suns Ainge is Fined $5,000 by NBA". The New York Times. May 18, 1995. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  4. ^ Ainge vs Mario Ellie (1994 West Semis) - Danny doesn't forget (by Sole Records). August 23, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Danny Ainge Hits Mario Ellie RIGHT IN THE FACE!!! BOOOOOM. August 16, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2016 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "Boston Celtics extend deal of president of basketball operations Danny Ainge". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  7. ^ https://www.facebook.com/neil.greenberg?fref=ts. "Analysis | Worst NBA trade ever? 2014 Nets-Celtics trade would have to outdo these four duds". Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Nets Acquire NBA Champions Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry". The Official Site of the Brooklyn Nets. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Analysis | Worst NBA trade ever? 2014 Nets-Celtics trade would have to outdo these four duds". Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  10. ^ "Celtics Acquire Four-Time All-Star Kyrie Irving". NBA.com. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  11. ^ "Celtics, Cavaliers Complete Trade". NBA.com. August 30, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  12. ^ "A.Ainge named director of player personnel". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  13. ^ "New York Jets QB Erik Ainge opens up about his years of drug abuse and his ongoing battle with addiction and mental illness". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "NBA.com: Celtics GM Danny Ainge has mild heart attack". Archived from the original on December 20, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Danny Ainge Expected To Make Full Recovery After Suffering Mild Heart Attack". CBS Boston. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Danny Ainge, basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.

External links

1980–81 NCAA Division I men's basketball season

The 1980–81 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 28, 1980, progressed through the regular season and conference tournaments, and concluded with the 1981 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Championship Game on March 30, 1981, at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. The Indiana Hoosiers won their fourth NCAA national championship with a 63–50 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels.

1981 NBA draft

The 1981 NBA draft was the 35th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 9, 1981, before the 1981–82 season. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the USA Network. In this draft, 23 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Dallas Mavericks won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Detroit Pistons were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was automatically eligible for selection. Before the draft, five college underclassmen announced that they would leave college early and would be eligible for selection. The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 223 players.

The Dallas Mavericks used their first pick to draft 1980 Naismith College Player of the Year Mark Aguirre from DePaul University. Aguirre, who had just finished his junior season in college, became the second underclassman to be drafted first overall, after Magic Johnson in 1979. The Detroit Pistons used the second overall pick to draft Isiah Thomas, a sophomore guard from Indiana University. Thomas had just won the 1981 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship with Indiana and was named as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The New Jersey Nets used the third pick to draft another underclassman, Buck Williams, from the University of Maryland. Williams went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award and was also selected to the All-Star Game in his rookie season. This draft marked the first time that the first three selections were college underclassmen. Danny Ainge, the 1981 Wooden College Player of the Year, was selected in the second round with the 31st pick by the Boston Celtics. Ainge had been playing professional baseball since 1979 with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball (MLB) while also playing college basketball at Brigham Young University. He reportedly preferred to continue his baseball career, but the Celtics successfully persuaded him to play basketball instead. He is one of only twelve athletes who have played in both the NBA and MLB.

1981 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The Consensus 1981 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1987 NBA Finals

The 1987 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1986–87 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Eastern Conference and defending NBA champion Boston Celtics 4 games to 2. The key moment of the series was Magic Johnson's junior sky hook in Game 4. This was the tenth time that the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals (more than any other Finals matchup). It would be the Celtics' last Finals appearance until the two teams met in 2008.

This was the first NBA Championship Series conducted entirely in June. The last time there were no NBA Championship Series games in May was in the 1970-1971 season, when the finals (a four-game sweep that year) ended on April 30. It is also the first NBA Finals series to be conducted on a Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday rotation, which was in use until 1990 and revived since the 2004 NBA Finals; in between the NBA Finals were conducted on a Sunday-Wednesday-Friday rotation.

1988 NBA All-Star Game

The 38th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 7, 1988, at Chicago Stadium in Chicago. The East won the game 138-133 and Michael Jordan (who scored a game-high 40 points) was named the game's MVP.

1992–93 Phoenix Suns season

The 1992–93 NBA season was the 25th season for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. During the offseason, the Suns acquired All-Star forward Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers, and signed free agent Danny Ainge. The Suns had a successful season posting a 14-game winning streak in December which led them to a 21–4 start, then posted an 11-game winning streak between March and April to finish with an NBA-best 62–20 record. The team set the franchise record for most wins in a season (the record was later tied in the 2004–05 season). Barkley won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and led the team to its second trip to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games.In the first round of the playoffs, the Suns faced elimination as they trailed 2–0 against the 8th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. However, they won the next three games to advance in the semifinals, where they defeated the San Antonio Spurs in six games. In the Western Conference Finals, they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in a full seven game series on their way to the Finals before losing in six games to the Bulls.

The season saw the debut of the new "Streaking Sun" logo, which was featured on the team's new jerseys. The season was also the Suns first at the new America West Arena (later renamed US Airways Center). The new arena had a regular season attendance of 779,943 in 41 home games, the fifth highest total attendance in the league. The team sold-out the capacity 19,023 arena every game of the season.

Barkley and Dan Majerle were both selected for the 1993 NBA All-Star Game. Point guard Kevin Johnson played just 49 games due to injury, averaging 16.1 points and 7.8 assists per game. Following the season, Tom Chambers signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Utah Jazz.

The Suns' new logo and uniforms would last until 2000.

1993 NBA Finals

The 1993 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1992–93 NBA season, featuring the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, and the Phoenix Suns, winners of 62 games and led by regular season MVP Charles Barkley. The Bulls became the first team since the legendary Boston Celtics of the 1960s to win three consecutive championship titles, clinching the "three-peat" with John Paxson's game-winning 3-pointer that gave them a 99–98 victory in Game 6. Remarkably, the road team won every game except for Chicago's win at home in Game 4.

This series was aired on NBC with Marv Albert, Bob Costas (hosts), Mike Fratello, Magic Johnson, Quinn Buckner (analysts), Ahmad Rashād (Bulls sideline) and Hannah Storm (Suns sideline) (reporters) calling the action.

The 1993 NBA championship documentary, Three-Peat, marked the first time since 1982 that NBA Entertainment used film in on-court or off-court action, although most of it used videotape. It was narrated by Hal Douglas, who narrated the NBA Championship documentaries of 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

1994–95 Phoenix Suns season

The 1994–95 NBA season was the 27th season for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. The Suns were led by Paul Westphal, in his third year as head coach of the Suns. The Suns had finished the regular season with 59 wins, the first time in the franchise's history they had ended the season with 55 or more wins for three consecutive seasons. The Suns swept the Portland Trail Blazers in three straight games in the first round of the playoffs, but for the second year in a row, had their playoff run stopped in a Western Conference Semifinals' Game 7 loss at the hands of the 6th-seeded Houston Rockets. All home games were played at America West Arena.

The Suns were again led in both scoring and rebounding by All-Star Charles Barkley, averaging 23.0 points and 11.1 rebounds for the season. In the offseason, the Suns had acquired free agents Danny Manning and Wayman Tisdale. Manning, who was coming off an All-Star year would average 17.9 points a game, but the oft-injured Manning appeared in just 46 games in his first season in Phoenix, and would not be available for the Suns' playoff run. For point guard Kevin Johnson, the injury that had allowed him to start in just 35 of 47 games in the regular season, happened earlier enough in the season he would be able to play in the Suns' fourth consecutive Western Conference Semifinals. Johnson would average a team-high 7.7 assists and 15.5 points during the regular season.

Dan Majerle finished the season tied for second in made three-point field goals, 199, and averaged 15.6 points for the Suns. The Suns front court was supplanted by A.C. Green's 11.2 points and 8.2 rebounds and Tisdale's 10 points per game. The Suns' pick in the draft was used to select Wesley Person, a shooting guard out of Auburn, who contributed 10.4 points a game while connecting on a team-high 43.6% of his three-pointers. By season's end, Person was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Barkley was named to his ninth All-Star Game, joined by Majerle, who was selected for his third and final All-Star Game. Barkley repeated as an All-NBA Second Team selection. Following the season, Majerle was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Danny Ainge retired.

For the season, the Suns added black alternate road uniforms, which would last until 2000.

Ainge

Ainge (1981) is an out of print non-fiction book by author Orson Scott Card. It is a biography of star basketball player Danny Ainge. Two thousand copies were printed, distributed only in Provo, Utah, United States.

BYU Cougars men's basketball

The BYU Cougars men's basketball team represents Brigham Young University in NCAA Division I basketball play. Established in 1902, the team has won 27 conference championships, 3 conference tournament championships and 2 NIT Tournaments (1951 and 1966), and competed in 29 NCAA Tournaments. It currently competes in the West Coast Conference. From 1999–2011, the team competed in the Mountain West Conference.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league's founding.The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 16 NBA championships, second behind the Celtics. The rivalry was heavily highlighted throughout the 1960s and 1980s. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's historically large Irish population.The Celtics' rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after drafting center Bill Russell in 1956, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty. Led by Russell and superstar point guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship in 1957. Russell, along with a talented supporting cast of Hall of Famers including John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, and Bill Sharman, would usher the Celtics into the greatest period in franchise history, winning 8 consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960s. After the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Led by center Dave Cowens and point guard JoJo White, the Celtics returned to championship caliber, winning 2 NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics would return to dominance in the 1980s. Led by the "Big Three" that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era.

Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. This prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Jerome Souers

Jerome Souers (born May 20, 1958) is an American football coach. He was formerly the head football coach at Northern Arizona University, a position he held from 1998 until 2018. Souers was selected as the 1999 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year and was an Eddie Robinson Award finalist in 2003.

He was raised in Eugene, Oregon and attended North Eugene High School along with former NBA player and head coach Danny Ainge.

Len Barker's perfect game

On May 15, 1981, Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians threw a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Stadium, the tenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Indians defeated the Blue Jays 3–0, as Barker did not allow a baserunner. Barker never once reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter. He struck out eleven Blue Jays hitters (all of them swinging) including seven of the last eleven batters.Barker's perfect game is the most recent no-hitter thrown by a Cleveland pitcher. "I run into people almost every day who want to talk about it," Barker said in 2006. "Everyone says, 'You're probably tired of talking about it.' I say, 'No, it's something to be proud of.' It's a special thing."Barker was the first perfect game pitcher who did not come to bat during the entire game, with the American League having adopted the designated hitter in 1973.

Ron Hassey, Barker's catcher, would catch Dennis Martínez's perfect game in 1991, thus becoming the only catcher, to date, to catch two perfect games.

Danny Ainge, who would play 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association, was on the losing end of this game. He grounded out and struck out in his two at-bats; in the ninth inning, he was pinch-hit for by Alvis Woods, who struck out.

List of Boston Celtics head coaches

The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Wycliffe Grousbeck and coached by Brad Stevens, with Danny Ainge as the general manager. Founded in 1946, their 17 NBA Championships are the most for any NBA franchise, and their eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966 represent the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any North American professional sports team to date. They play their home games in the TD Garden.There have been 17 head coaches for the Boston Celtics franchise. The Celtics won their first NBA championship in the 1957 NBA Finals under the coaching of Red Auerbach. Auerbach is the franchise's all-time leader in the number of regular-season and playoff wins as a coach. Auerbach and Bill Fitch were included in the Top 10 Coaches in NBA history. Fitch was the 1979–80 NBA Coach of the Year and also led the Celtics to a championship in 1981. Auerbach led the Celtics to nine championships, in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966. He was also the 1965–65 Coach of the Year. K.C. Jones led the Celtics to two championships, in 1984 and 1986. Alvin Julian, Auerbach, Tom Heinsohn, Fitch and Rick Pitino have earned induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches.Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Tom Sanders, Dave Cowens, K.C. Jones, Chris Ford and M. L. Carr have played and coached for the Celtics. John Russell, Alvin Julian, Heinsohn, Sanders, Carr, and John Carroll spent their entire coaching career with the Celtics. Doc Rivers, led the team to one NBA championship.

Pervis Ellison

Pervis Ellison (born April 3, 1967) is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) player.

Ellison was nicknamed "Never Nervous Pervis" for his play with the University of Louisville. At 6 ft 9 in and 242 lb, he started all four years as the center under coach Denny Crum. In his freshman year he led Louisville to its second national championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player—the second time a freshman had ever been awarded that honor, after Arnie Ferrin in 1944 for Utah.

Ellison was made the first overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. Teammate Danny Ainge gave Ellison the nickname "Out of Service Pervis" for the many injuries that would plague him during his professional career. An injury kept him on the sidelines for 48 of 82 games of his rookie year, after which he was traded to the Washington Bullets in a three-team trade involving the Utah Jazz that also sent Jeff Malone to the Jazz and Eric Leckner, Bob Hansen, and draft picks to the Kings. Although he was assigned as a backup in 1990–1991, the following year he became a starter and earned Most Improved Player honors after averaging 20.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.68 blocks per game.

Assorted injuries plagued his career, including two knee problems that kept him benched for 29 games in 1992–1993 and 30 games in 1993–1994. As a free agent, Ellison signed with the Boston Celtics in 1994 but did not play until midway through the season because he was still rehabilitating from knee problems. A broken toe suffered while moving furniture kept him out of most games between 1996 and 1998. After participating in 69 out of a possible 246 games over the final three seasons with the Celtics, he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000 but retired after playing nine games. He once coached basketball for Life Center Academy in Burlington, New Jersey and is a resident of Voorhees Township, New Jersey.

Peter Vecsey (sports columnist)

Peter Vecsey (born 1943) is an American sports columnist and analyst, specializing in basketball. In his childhood, he attended academic and athletic powerhouse Archbishop Molloy High School, in Queens, NY, and graduated in 1961. Vecsey currently writes a column on the NBA for the New York Post. He was formerly an analyst for TBS and NBC and is currently an analyst for NBA TV. His writing style has been described as vicious, combative and containing cruel wit. In the 1960s, he served in the United States Army Special Forces.After five years in retirement, Vecsey returned to covering the NBA in July 2017. His columns are available at: patreon.com/petervecsey

Vecsey's column in the New York Post frequently detailed behind the scenes trade maneuvers as well as spotlighting many rumors in the NBA.

Vecsey is also known for his open criticism of players. Common players he has criticized include Charles Barkley, Danny Fortson, Danny Ainge, Byron Scott, the New Jersey Nets, Larry Brown, Alonzo Mourning, the Los Angeles Clippers the New York Knicks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Vin Baker (his alcohol problems), Shawn Kemp for fathering many children out of wedlock, and former Nets star Jayson Williams. He gave number one draft pick Joe Barry Carroll his infamous nickname 'Joe Barely Cares', as well as dubbing former 1980s Knicks player Larry Demic 'EpiDemic' after he failed to live up to expectations. Source

Peter is the younger brother of The New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey and the uncle of former Baltimore Sun sports columnist Laura Vecsey. He is the father to Taylor K. Vecsey, a journalist and editor for East Hampton Patch who had written for The East Hampton Star, where she was a senior writer, and The New York Post, and Joseph Vecsey, former street ball player, journalist, stand up comedian, male model and screenwriter.

He received the Basketball Hall Of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2009.

Ryan McDonough (NBA executive)

Ryan Michael McDonough (born November 20, 1980) is the former general manager of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association.

McDonough was hired by the Suns on May 7, 2013. He had previously worked for ten years in the Boston Celtics organization, serving in roles including director of international scouting and assistant general manager to former Suns player and head coach Danny Ainge. Under the assistant general manager role, McDonough would get an NBA Finals championship for the Celtics during the 2007–08 season. In his first season as executive of the Suns, he helped recreate the team to give them a 23-win improvement from the 2012–13 season to the 2013–14 season. Despite that, however, he would end up being runner-up for the NBA Executive of the Year Award to R. C. Buford. While McDonough wouldn't reach the same success that he had in his first season with the Suns, he still managed to receive a contract extension with Phoenix on July 19, 2017.McDonough was fired from his job as the Suns' General Manager on October 8, 2018. Throughout the 2018-19 NBA season, his position was filled by both former vice president of basketball operations James Jones and assistant general manager Trevor Bukstein.

McDonough currently serves as a radio host for SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Western Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Western Athletic Conference's (WAC) most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1980–81 season. Keith Van Horn of Utah and Nick Fazekas of Nevada are the only players to have won the award three times. Three other players—Michael Cage, Josh Grant and Melvin Ely—have won the award twice. Danny Ainge, the first ever WAC Player of the Year, was also the John R. Wooden Award winner in 1980–81.

Utah has the most all-time winners with seven. There have been four ties in the award's history, most notably in 1982–83 when there was a three-way tie. Due mainly to major membership turnover from 2010 to 2014, only three current WAC members, New Mexico State, UMKC and Utah Valley, have had a winner.

Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Phoenix 1996–97 74 40 34 .541 4th in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1997–98 82 56 26 .683 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1998–99 50 27 23 .540 3rd in Pacific 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 1999–2000 20 13 7 .650 (resigned)
Career 226 136 90 .602 12 3 9 .250
Current heads of basketball operations in the National Basketball Association
Eastern
Conference
Western
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Danny Ainge

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