News that the Celtics had acquired Kyrie Irving, Tuesday, must have hit Boston fans the same way it did me.
“Trader Dan” is at it again.
I couldn’t help wondering how things would have gone if Danny Ainge had become athletics director at BYU.
Probably not smoothly.
The Celtics president gave away Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, in order to add Irving, the four-time All-Star.
This came seven weeks after Ainge lured Gordon Hayward as a free agent.
Ainge has now shed 11 players from a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
As usual, he was confident he did the right thing, telling reporters, “We feel comfortable with who Kryie is and who he can be.”
I don’t doubt that.
Ainge’s name has been mentioned, over the years, as a possible administrator over the Cougar athletic program. But there never seemed to be much traction to that rumor. After some turnover that included Clayne Jensen, Rondo Fehlberg and Val Hale, BYU settled in with Tom Holmoe in the top spot. Although Holmoe has been unable to get the Cougars into a power conference, he has done a nice job of keeping BYU athletics relevant and scheduling games with power schools. He is well-connected and well-respected.
In practicality, Ainge probably would have been too impatient to run BYU athletics effectively. Too many channels to go through, too many feelings to consider. His ability to move quickly would have been hampered, because BYU is a big, slow-moving machine.
Imagine if Ainge had tried to overhaul BYU athletics the way he has with the Celtics.
Would Ainge have gotten BYU in the Pac-12 or Big 12? No. That’s a task that’s bigger — and more complicated — than for even Trader Dan. But he would have tried. And it would have made BYU-watching more entertaining than ever. As it is, Cougar fans can watch him from afar, as he tries to bring another championship to Boston.