Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Danny Ainge, the Celtics' director of basketball operations, on Delonte West.
Ainge joined WEEI in Boston to talk about why the Celtics decided to bring Delonte West back this offseason, whether or not he was aware of all of his off-the-court issues, and how much West's familiarity with the team played into his being brought back. Note: The interview took place on opening night, before West and Von Wafer had their fight.
Why they brought West back this offseason:
Delonte was a favorite of a lot of people in Boston. He was a fun guy to watch and a lot of people embraced Delonte when he was here as a player. I think a lot of people, including our own players that respect Delonte are not only the guys that have played with Delonte like Paul (Pierce), Rajon (Rondo), and Perk (Kendrick Perkins), but then playing against him the last few years as an opponent have a great deal of respect for him on the court. I think everybody is aware that Delonte has had challenges off the court and we're trying to give him the support that he needs. The players that were with him before, our coach that was with him before, myself, and ownership, we knew there was some risk, but I think we were comfortable with that risk.
On how much his familiarity with the team played into his being brought back:
Not only familiar, but actually like him and find him enjoyable. At the same time troubled. What's happened to Delonte in the last few years is not shocking to any of us. We know that he has challenges off the court but we love what he brings to the court.
On Delonte West growing up:
With Delonte being under house arrest and needing permission from a probation officer to go many places, I've often wondered how we can do that with many players.
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Image via reader Canaan