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Celtics fans tell GM Ainge to tank?

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, left, speaks alongside new head coach Brad Stevens, right
Boston GM Danny Ainge with new Celtics head coach Brad Stevens
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Fans usually demand that their team’s front office tries to get the best players and win — but not Boston Celtics faithful.

Danny Ainge has been approached by Celtics fans warning the team’s president of basketball operations against winning too many games this season, he told Sports Illustrated.

“As I walk around town, more than anything else there are those that say, ‘Hey, don’t win too many games,’” Ainge said. “There are so many fans that want us to play for the draft.”

Those fans seem to be taking the long view that one season of pain is worth getting a high pick in next June’s draft and earning a chance to draft Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker or one of the other enticing names expected to be at the top of the draft.

All these fans must be forgetting 1996-97, when the Celtics went into the tank to try for Tim Duncan, or 2006-07, when they stunk up the joint and the prize (supposedly) was Greg Oden. In neither case did the Celtics get the first or the second pick, meaning they not only were unable to draft Duncan or Oden, but Keith Van Horn or Kevin Durant, either.

“If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was out there to change your franchise forever, or Tim Duncan was going to change your franchise for 15 years?” Ainge said. “That might be a different story. I don’t see that player out there.”

Tagged: Celtics, Spurs, Tim Duncan

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