Riches, and luxuries thrive at one end of the spectrum. Poverty, and heartbreak haunt the other end. The Celtics have been on both sides of the NBA poverty line. They've been the richest team, holding 17 NBA Championships. That being most in league history. The Celtics have also learned the hard way, enduring droughts spanning form the mid 90's through the early part of the new millennium. It was an eight year journey for the Celtics to reach the playoffs again in 2002.
The Celtics led by Pierce, and Walker gave many of us hope. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002, and they held a 2-1 series lead, before losing in six games to the Nets. Despite the Celtics losing in the Conference Finals. The luxuries of being a team in contention is so much better then eating a .10 cent package of ramen noddles.
In 2003, during the Celtics second round playoff series against the Nets. The Celtics announced that former two-time NBA champion, Danny Ainge would take control of General Manager duties for Boston. From day one, Ainge didn't hold back. During his first summer as the Celtics GM. Ainge traded fan favorite, and Celtics All-Star Antoine Walker to Dallas.
Danny currently holds the 5th longest tenure as a General Manager with the same team. Many NBA Championships won with these GM's running the show, is Danny the boldest.
Pat Riley, Heat: September 1995
Joe Dumars, Pistons: June 2000
Mitch Kupchak, Lakers: August 2000
R.C. Buford, Spurs: July 2002
Danny Ainge, Celtics: May 2003
I think this list may get an update pretty soon. Joe Dumars may come off that list by force, and not by choice. As for Riley and the Heat, I think it's safe to say that Riley hit the lottery, he was very lucky to pull James from Cleveland. Kupchak took over for Lakers legend Jerry West, he took over a team built by West, but Kupchak did rebuild this team later in the 2000's.
He drafted Bynum, and he made the big trade for Gasol. Kupchak did make a very bold move by trading Shaq to Miami, but that was more of an owner thing. Buford has built an amazing system with the Spurs. He hasn't been forced to make bold moves. He's made very good choices in the draft, and he was apart of three NBA championships with the Spurs, nearly a 4th last summer.
Out of those General Managers, I think Danny has proven that he's capable of any type of move. Sometimes I get the feeling that Ainge loves the thrill of the gamble, the risk behind it all. His level of fear is low, that must be why he's been successful. He's just not afraid to take risks.
Risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing. Sitting by, and allowing the world to go by in front of your face can leave you full of regret. Danny will never allow that to happen, at least that's probably his mindset.
Sometimes the person who risks nothing, is left with nothing, has nothing to show for, and is left with regret.
Without a little bit of risk, sometimes you may miss out on something great. Once upon a time Jared Sullinger was a risk.
It can come down to either taking the risk, or don't risk at all. Danny's resume is chalked full of moves, and even moves that almost happen that could have changed the Big Three era that ended this past summer.
Ainge is in the process of rebuilding the Celtics for a second time during his tenure in Boston. If Danny hadn't taken some of those calcualted risks, the Celtics could be tied with the Lakers at 16 titles, if not passed at this point. Danny wants the riches, the spoils, the 18th title in Celtics history. He'll take risk, after risk to achieve that goal. Nobody can see into the future, and a lot of things can happen from this point. Players may not pan out, players may leave Boston.
One fact still remains, Danny Ainge will go down taking risks to make the Celtics better. Ainge has made very unpopular moves, trading Perk, and even trading Pierce and KG over the summer. Some of his moves have worked, and some haven't at all. With Danny Ainge's track record, and his history with making bold moves. I'm a firm believer that history repeats itself. I believe Ainge is a creature of habit, and I see him being bold until this franchise returns to contention.
I just hope from a fans point of view. That Rondo is the one leading the next generation of Celtics to the 18th banner in franchise history.