Published: March 26, 2018
ESPN’s #NBARank is in the process of releasing its 100 most influential players ever to play in NBA, and former BYU Cougar Danny Ainge made the list at No. 82.
Speaking of Ainge’s impact on the game as both a player and in the front office, Royce Webb wrote, “Ainge’s influence is found not in a single accomplishment, but in a long and multifaceted career.”
Webb then briefly mentioned Ainge’s time in professional baseball playing for the Toronto Blue Jays before looking at his career on the hardwood.
“Drafted into the NBA by Red Auerbach in 1981, he took his brash, combative style to Boston and became a starting combo guard for two title teams,” wrote Webb. “One of the most prolific 3-point shooters of his day, he also helped two more teams reach the Finals — Portland and Phoenix — before a short stint as coach of the Suns.”
To go along with his six Finals’ appearances and two championships, Ainge made the All-Star game in 1988 after averaging 15.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 81 games as a member of the Celtics.
During his time in the NBA, he averaged 11.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 1,042 career games.
Despite the fact that his playing career ended more than 20 years ago, Ainge is still the highest ranking NBA player from BYU in games played, minutes, points, assists and steals.
For those of you who are too young to remember just how good he was on the floor, here are some highlights from one of his best games as a pro.
Webb then went on to look at Ainge’s impact in the front office for the Celtics where he helped to bring one of the most storied franchises in sports history another title after a 22-year hiatus.
“His next NBA chapter would become his longest — 15 years and counting as lead basketball executive of the Celtics,” Webb wrote. “He has proven to be one of the league’s bolder and more innovative decision-makers, highlighted by two major trades to form Boston’s Big Three.”
Ainge still works for the Celtics where the team he built is 50-23 and in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.
The latest on Kyle Collinsworth
The Dallas Mavericks have played a pair games since our last update, but Kyle Collinsworth appeared in just one of them. In a 119-112 loss to the Utah Jazz, the former BYU standout finished with a point on 0-for-1 shooting from the floor and 1-for-2 from the foul line. He added three rebounds and a block and was a +8 in five minutes on the floor.
In 25 games, Collinsworth is averaging 2.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 13.4 minutes.