Boston Celtics guard, Jaylen Brown, seems to believe he is a better player than the 1986 version of his boss, Danny Ainge.
When Boston Celtics guard, Jaylen Brown, compared last year’s team to the 1986 Championship crew, it didn’t end there. According to WBUR.Com’s Shara Springer, Jaylen may have suggested that he was better a better player than Danny showed during that 1985-86 season.
Let me start by saying that the 85-86 Boston Celtics team had it all – talent, depth, length, scoring, rebounding, defense, passing – you name it. Don’t immediately dismiss Ainge’s contribution to the Title run just because he may have been the 6th-best player in that group. Playing alongside Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Bill Walton would diminish any player’s perceived value (per WBUR.Com’s Shara Springer):
(Springer): “What did you say when you were asked how last year’s team compares to 1986?”
(Ainge): “I asked him (Jaylen Brown), ‘What do you think?’ And I was like, ‘Seriously?'”
(Springer): Well, wait, what did he think?”
(Ainge): “He started going [over] match-ups like, ‘I’m better than you. And Kyrie’s close to [Larry] Bird.’ It’s like, ‘OK, let’s just stop right there.’ But I think that’s just where their [heads were at.] … They thought they were good, and they were going to be great, it was all gonna work … we all did. But I knew going into the year, I mean [Assistant GM] Mike Zarren and I talked … Mike and I talked all the time and with Coach Stevens, and we knew that it was going to be a challenge…
People sleep on just how much of an athlete Danny was. While Jaylen would likely own him one-on-one, I’m honestly not sure who I’d take in a game on some fictional basketball Olympus, where the peculiarities of an era don’t matter. https://t.co/BVrH6TTcYv
— Dr. Justin Quinn (@justinquinnn) September 16, 2019
Without going into statistics, Danny, at 6’5″, could effectively play both back court positions and was known at the time as the quickest white guy in the NBA. He could score and distribute the ball – and he was intense with a Capital “I”. The only reason he was drafted so low in the 1981 draft (31st) is that he was signed with pro baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays at the time – another significant coup by Red Auerbach. Danny is a 2-Time NBA Champion and 1-Time All-star, two accomplishments Brown has not yet achieved.
One other point. Danny never saw a shot that he didn’t like. He would launch shots from anywhere and everywhere – much to the occasional chagrin of his teammates. He had none of the hesitancy displayed by Jaylen. Who would I take in a 1-on-1 matchup between the 1986 Ainge, and the 2019 Brown? Not totally sure, but like Justin Quinn implied in the above tweet, it would be great to watch.
Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center