Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics suffered a mild heart attack Tuesday (Apr.30) before Boston’s game 2 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks the team announced.
According to the release from the team, Ainge received immediate medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery. He is currently returning back to Boston from Milwaukee in time for the game 3 of the Celtics conference semifinals matchup with the Bucks.
Coach Brad Stevens was made aware of the situation, but the rest of the team did not know of the incident Sportscenter 5 anchor Bob Halloran reported. Thursday, Stevens and players spoke on the Ainge’s heart attack with the Celtics head coach adding:
“Been in constant communication with his family. He’s resting well and feels better. Obviously, always scary, but he’s got a good support network. Obviously, expect a full recovery, and he’s feeling good. So that’s all positive. Certainly scary.”
Second-year forward Jayson Tatum added:
“What he’s going through is more important than any game we are playing. He’s doing better, and I know he wants us to go out and compete. Game 3 is important to us and very important to him and everyone in our organization.”
Marcus Smart got reflective while talking about Ainge while wishing him a speedy recovery.
“Danny is just one of those guys who takes time out of his life, his day when he’s doing his schedule, to make sure you’re all right. He constantly checks in on us, my family, and things like that. Just personally, for me, he’s been another mentor. For me, from when I first got here, Danny was the person I see every day and am talking to, so he means a lot to my life as well. … I just hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Ainge 60, also suffered a minor heart attack back in 2009. In college, he was a two-sport star while attending BYU winning the Wooden Award as college basketball’s top player back in 1981. He played three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before giving the NBA all of his attention with a historic 14-year career. Ainge would go on to win two championships with the original big three Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. Before taking a job in the Celtic’s front office in 2003 subsequently winning NBA executive of the year in 2008 for acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen helping the Boston win its 17th NBA title Ainge coached for the Phoenix Suns.
We wish Ainge a speedy recovery, we look forward to seeing back courtside during Celtics’ home games.
Photo: Boston Globe / Getty