Danny Ainge responds to Isaiah Thomas: 'I don't know what we owe him'

Danny Ainge responds to Isaiah Thomas: 'I don't know what we owe him'

Ex-Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas, still openly bothered by the manner in which he was traded out of Boston and to the Cavaliers this past summer, has by all means made it known that he’s feuding with Celtics president Danny Ainge.

Noting that he ‘might not ever’ talk to Ainge again in a feature that first appeared in Sports Illustrated, Thomas continued his anti-Ainge roll during his appearance on the Road Trippin’ podcast, where he said that he was going to snub Ainge should he try to approach him on the floor before tonight’s Celtics-Cavs head-to-head in Cleveland.

And Ainge, who first tried being diplomatic when Thomas made those original comments, citing his love for the 5-foot-9 Thomas and what he meant to the Celtics, finally shot back at Thomas during his interview with WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Keefe on Tuesday.

“I can’t be sure,” Ainge said when asked exactly what Thomas was referencing in that Sports Illustrated interview as being ‘not right’ on Ainge’s part. “I just know that Isaiah gave us all he had. He was a Celtic. He was all in with us and we were all in with him.

“He had an amazing platform and he went from a guy that bounced around a little bit from Sacramento to Phoenix and came to Boston, found a home, and played unbelievable basketball last year. Going forward all point guards that play great in a Celtic uniform will be compared to Isaiah Thomas and how they compare to him.

“But I don’t know what we owe him,” Ainge continued. “We gave him an opportunity, we gave him everything he had while he was here, and he gave us everything he had.”

Take the early niceties and compliments out of the equation and it’s an undoubtedly cold response thrown the 28-year-old Thomas’ way. Especially after Thomas averaged a career-best 28.9 points per game for the Celtics, played through a severe hip injury in the second half, and even played one day after the death of his younger sister in the postseason en route to the C’s first East Finals appearance since 2012 last year.

But it’s one that appears to come as a direct result of Ainge growing tired of Thomas, who is not expected to return to game action for the Cavaliers until January, trying to throw him under the bus any time a microphone has been handed to him. And one that confirms this spat is not exactly one-sided. 

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Danny Ainge fires back at Isaiah Thomas

Boston Celtics

Tuesday, October 17th

Danny Ainge joins Dale, Holley, and Keefe to respond to comments made by Isaiah Thomas since he was traded away from Boston. Ainge talks about his productive and busy summer completely retooling the roster and what role Jayson Tatum will have this season.


Transcript – Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Our time not a talked to the Celtics president of basketball operations. Danny Ainge is brought to my star market come see what makes us shiny joins us on the phone from Cleveland they getting Oreo. Yeah I’ll go and and parenthood has got our name is exempt and has a good start for gosh yeah just does things down. Yeah ago I’ve I’ve heard of you know guys in your position having an active summer. You were in the Eastern Conference finals last spring you’re one of the four best teams in the NBA. And you changed eleven of the fifteen guys on the squad who’s ever done that before. You know yeah I don’t know yet and other means that we don’t. We’re just trying to figure out minute roster and payroll and you know it hurt the president and future. Did you know sometimes things happen but hopefully that he can get together a little bit longer than last group. So what have you seen so far no you only have four pre season games and game one tonight. Are they are they further along than you expected in some ways about what you expected to stir your analysis of what you have seen. So far. Well I think it’s really hard because exhibition season is not real NBA also. It’s hard to know I’m excited about our team like thirteen. The morale like the fact that each guide it on our roster right now would really excited to be bought so they can. And I think it that goes along way and it enables you to be bewildered by it got kind. And have yet. Of improving each I’m excited about this group of guys that I don’t know what we are that’s quite a bit. You know open up tonight tomorrow night and it. To get to and have a little bet better idea of where we are at least urged him gain. And I noted that a lot of interviews the last couple days I’ve paid attention to several events on eBay announced. About Isiah Thomas and his his comments but I would be a little more specific. He says. Oh what he did talk about you knowing everything went through you don’t do that broad that’s not right wouldn’t you think he’s talking about people ask you lightweight thing but specifically what. What do you think he’s talking about there. No I can’t be sure but I don’t know I’d yeah. Gave Ali act Ed. He was so. You know. Even all the head. With and we were all at the end he had an amazing platform did. Eat a firm and guide it woods. You know that bounced around a little bit from Sacramento the Phoenix and Boston. On the Altman played unbelievable basketball last year you know that going forward there you know that. All point Gert. It played great since Celtics uniform will be compared they had Thomas and outlook and other comparative. And but you know I don’t I don’t know what we owe him. We gave him an opportunity we gave him everything out well he appeared. In that ER. He should have what I would think a great point guard this year in carrier Irving he gets a chance to vote against his former team. Right away. 25 years old do you feel like he’s the guy. Who can lead a team and a lot has been made of him and and his talented what what he can do on the floor. Do you think he has that that total package of a guy who come on and off the floor to be a team leader. I do. You know again you’ve been mentioned his age and you ought always hard if you would have told me. When we get Tony Allen that was here and it left for free agency be applied you know I don’t know our tenth or eleventh man. Any quick cement that and became the leader of the day a year. And it it ultimately Kendrick Perkins. Was going to be a leader in the Oklahoma City locker room that day you’re right and you know playing the problem Westbrook and James Harden and and Kevin Correia albeit they were all on. That would surprise me although not completely. Let you know sometimes you grow into a position you’re not really what it. You know get much chance to lead obviously go abroad in a great leader and a great winner in the sleek. And so it’s an opportunity for every I don’t expect it to be in its first real opportunity yet that. But. We got lots of leaders don’t need one leader we need. We get out or church retreat leader market smartly. Away and you know I think that we we don’t need him to be like some sort of special special leader we need to be a great player and a great teammate. We’re talking with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. I remember talking to Bill Parcells one time about a young player in the league in Parcells said you never wanna throw a young player to the wolves. Until you find out he’s one of the wolves. Is Jason Tatum one of the walls. We think he’s pretty geared everything yet very bright future. And that he had been told the wolves so. I would tell you that he in the wall. I like that quote. I ask a girl talk about that America now retired about Rudyard Kipling and jungle book and all the stuff. Let me ask you about. In del referenced it earlier. When he was mentioning all the off offseason turnover you know eleven now eleven new players on the fifteen from from last year. That that takes it takes a certain kind of temperament not to fall in love with the team that was very embrace of bull that was very lovable. What would you. Think when did you know that you were capable of doing something like that as the general manager when you went where you’d like that as a player. Amid it’s like a cold hearted nature date that has to be in place beauty is they are. I know we went to the conference finals but it’s not good enough let’s move on. Well you know to be honest I think it even some players news. There was. You know lately and are able we had you know we Celtics really haven’t had any opportunity back stay in their history. And the last two years we linked to good players which caps and I have to get back at media. I doubt reciting. Some players. But we prepared for a big trader victory. For your year now everybody where we. I went on the in general in the air and Tyler in. You know Italian. Potentially you’d. In straight for a bigger name players and so forth. So I think that those players are are maybe they get what’s going on it and I think it’s. Straight Cleveland will not necessarily are never in any sort and the future. Long time ago but. You know create signing this year and boats and being dealt in those players keep their cap space. In the planned for quite. The law. What you think of the development and Jalen brown last year during his rookie season they are the number three pick. Obviously I would say high expectations although can be tricky don’t work your way into a team that is that is really good to. That he meet your expectations that he fall short of the right right there in the middle what are words think of his rookie year. IPad rookie year was fantastic and you know that B I’d just I’d probably legend. Different than a B average and I’m looking at. It work ethic and how much learning about the game. Obvious skill development but I upgraded achieve many years. How I hold much improved from just competitive nature you talk about being told the wall some time in key. You know he has put it early in the scene and the starting. At LeBron and at eighteen points and the toughest thing legitimate he just didn’t that would not much opportunity if there is right in upper case. And mostly because mark has more injury at a gate. Talking to Danny change would all the excitement of a new season and and a new roster a lot of of people changed here. What is something that’s got to a little bit concerned as you go into the new season what’s something that that you worry about a little bet. While I mean at the same thing is that everybody worried about injuries you know we have. What do Bart. Core guys here where we’re at that you know big rotation guys and market more without it universal player play couple positions. And so like you said about throat or nineteen year old Jason Tatum and wire right away. Well there’s some good at bat. And other over the next couple sites that we should be nice to have market sell the and so really that’s all I’m worried about it and yet and then. You know just how long it will take to match I think my guess is that will have some good. Good games bad games in there to go in the season and you know you certainly will see eating your rattle the guy in the situation we elect will be a better. This week at that that we are beginning. We start at that Danny that you know as a former member of the media you know how shaky we can be with our predictions. That being said in the hunt espn.com. Four finals champion. Predicted finals champion and everybody I’m not exaggerating ever heard anybody. Pick the warriors. To repeat as champions. Do you think they’re that good and I don’t know we taught you to beginning of last season. They surprise you with with how they were able to finish the season with a flourish. No means that they’re extremely talented team as everybody knows and they’re the they’re definitely looking to beat India think they have a target on the back in everybody’s shooting at them. I’m excited that. It seemed that his older they’ll bring this and it determines that a lot of pain that will accept up to the plate. And I think can challenge them but I still think that they’re the paper. And when you’re trying to figure out a championship standard. I may argue it do you go so far is too. Save when you’re when you’re building your team okay this is how we match up with Cleveland or this is how we matchup with the warriors encourages. Are already take a different approach. Before you know that your at that level that you need to via. Well that’s hard to do mine because it’s. Got to get the best players. Enemy be seen all sort of formula that wins. Right now it’s this basketball at the boom terminology and I think it’s just because they’re not at any. Incredibly. All I’d. Production and opposite production and any more so eager to hear this ball but you know big could go it of course be big and I guarantee. And you know they assert that anywhere else so. That’s what he have to be built in Kenya have achieved my goal stated that people that are out there that are. A dominant player British actor Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. Because they’ll they won’t be able to guard. I’m an opponent senator. It’s like shooting three and beaten people are able. Now no extension reached with the markets Smart was there. Frustration. On on either side or or how did how did you leave it with the with the markets and has. Agent. That will be good then that this summer. You know in some the I think all of us would like to look at Don but it didn’t seem like either side. Too bothered by it not being down I guess since it’s our open negotiations did exist they. Yeah negotiations that are more a couple of times that you feel good about it. You don’t need you really ought to better himself and and you know he’s put a lot of work anticipated a really good year markets this year. Big night tonight in Cleveland the opener against the cavaliers. Back for the home opener tomorrow night oh real quickly before I let you go do you expect LeBron will play tonight. Yes subtle like Danny we always appreciate the thank you will have we’ll talk to again soon. All right yeah they are adding that is Danny games. President of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics say this man he is fearless. Via these guys I mean when when you take a final fourteen in the NBA. And and shipped eleven of the fifteen guys out of town including. I thought the most popular player and best player you that. It not it was the team. Good and they are there were in the conference finals but they were very likable people love the fact now Isaiah. More so than anybody else but just the team as a group. People love watching them play so it’s a lot easier to tear down a team maybe you make it to the semifinals the conference files whatever but this is something off about the team. You know like for like the Red Sox this year for example if you found a way to get rid of half the team. I want you to be all that upset the other won the division a I just didn’t really have a connection with them. You had a connection with the Celtics and he’s still new. But that wasn’t good enough curricula my heart make all the choices so when he’s my brain and make atomic trade in and signs of new guys. In all it’s crazy and this is how nuts the offseason lines. That there’s that the most. Outrageous move or the boldest move was not. Trading the number one overall pick the yeah I think that’s not rub off on it’s that value. Isn’t in me me give him anyway yeah. Then the second most. Sentinels newsworthy thing was. He picked up Gordon Hayward that’s a big deal that’s number two on the left has. Crazy and a whole league was like yeah let’s just for the Celtics import and everybody in the movement Alia Carmelo was treated criminals. Asked how big news because Chris altered crystal strait. Paul George apology came out Jimmie there are greater now. All of these moves in the offseason where all because of how great Golden State growers are yet it yet at every out every team is saying look my team not going to be that game. Dynamic multi got to do stuff I mean I think quick growth speck in the ownership group here got together with Danny and said can this team beat. Cleveland or Golden State anytime soon no. Well then we gambled. Yeah and you you talk about all the excitement of the offseason and it’s fine you know you get all excited. As a basketball fan there’s got to talk about in July and August and September looking forward to this season. But there’s a sobering reality here when you look at some of these previews. And you look at the starting lives. In the NBA special Barack had seems. Don’t Michael Jordan before like yeah Jordan what are your that I can’t say that Michael and Michael I understand it’s is right. There are a lot of bad teams still even with all the moves and have got to keep the Golden State that’s on this looking as you got a good one looking at his team I have the thing it’s Charlotte. Thank. The pacers. Good bats. Each. The polls the bulls. Bulls might be the worst team in basketball wrote a book the bulls might be worse than that. I don’t have liked and don’t have to anybody that you want like nobody on the roster nobody Christiane Christiane thank you probably know. Of Rhode Island collars on and actually get a call ahead if you wanna watch it okay if you call and say. Hey you’re you’re being into our Christiane what I want to do is what I want you to watch 25 bowl games this year in their entirety and energetic they come back and talk may at tackle team that you’ll get a CO. Well he’s out for awhile and player. Just a lot of an Orlando luckily top teams. The top economic team are great but to George when I exaggerating said to have to create garbage teams that maybe twenty to. Twenty. Only eight out of more than eight worth watching there I refused to leave and it’s about half the league heated talks open watching her. You’ll want to bogey and Davis found that as much as you I write love bogey yeah. When towers the new Twin Towers not there now the forward areas of the rap charts and I didn’t I how important that there are credited them very hard. Well we get a chance to open the season tonight may yet come home open the home schedule tomorrow night. And and rich started at the beginning of the program saying this is is as excited as he spent about a celtics’ season opener in ten years I think a lot of folks. Are looking at the the possibility of this team grabbing the attention of local fans I don’t I’m not saying they have to win the game against Cleveland tonight for that to happen. But they do to be really good yes. Beat LeBron at home tomorrow it’s Milwaukee which might be the third best team in the conference and walking is that healthy that team poker and other artists and their fund team.

Full article @ Danny Ainge responds to Isaiah Thomas: ‘I don’t know what we owe him’

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