Roughly 12 hours after the Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, there has been a massive shake-up among key roles within the franchise.
The team announced on Wednesday that president Danny Ainge is retiring from his role, adding that head coach Brad Stevens is transitioning from his current role to the new head of basketball operations full-time.
Danny Ainge announced today that he is retiring from his role as President of Basketball Operations. Brad Stevens has been promoted to the team's President of Basketball Operations.https://t.co/XfGfMVkMkq- Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 2, 2021
The Celtics stated that Ainge will "continue to work with the team on transition planning through the upcoming off-season," and "a search for a new head coach will begin immediately."
According to reports from The Athletic's Shams Charania and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Stevens will lead the process in finding his successor as the new head coach of the Celtics.
"Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he's been here, I know we couldn't be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward," said Ainge. "I'm grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey."
"I'm grateful to ownership and to Danny for trusting me with this opportunity," said Stevens. "I'm excited to tackle this new role, starting with a wide ranging and comprehensive search for our next head coach. I love the Celtics, and know the great honor and responsibility that comes with this job. I will give it everything I have to help us be in position to consistently compete for championships."
Ainge spent 18 seasons in his front office role for Boston, famously known for the franchise's historic worst-to-first turnaround after trading for All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to assemble the 2008 championship team. The Celtics qualified for the postseason in all but three seasons under Ainge's leadership, reaching two NBA Finals and seven Eastern Conference Finals during his tenure.
Stevens took over Boston's head coaching role in 2013, spending eight seasons at the helm. Accumulating a record of 354-282 (.557), Stevens led the Celtics to the playoffs seven times, including three Eastern Conference Finals appearances over the last five years.
With young franchise cornerstones Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum under contract until 2024 and 2026, respectively, the Celtics will look to change things up heading into next season.
According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd and former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce are among candidates for the next head coaching job.
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