At no point in his 14-year NBA career was Danny Ainge the most athletic player on the court, nor was he the biggest. Because of that he did whatever it took to make a difference in the game. If that meant fighting 7-foot-1 Tree Rollins or getting in Michael Jordan's face, then he'd do it with a smirk on his face. That do-what-it-takes attitude has carried over to his role as executive director of basketball operations for the Celtics.
And not just off the court, either. During Boston's 104-86 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2, Ainge could be seen beside the Cavaliers' basket, throwing a white towel in the air to distract J.J. Hickson(notes) while he shot his free throws. Yep, it's as funny as you're imagining.
Mystery solved: J.J. Hickson is not afraid of ghosts. At least those from low-rent haunted houses. Results are still inconclusive with regards to real ghosts.
Though Hickson wasn't fazed by Ainge's tactics, Cleveland head coach Mike Brown was a little surprised to see the gamesmanship from a team executive.
"That was interesting to see that happen during the flow of the game, from Danny Ainge," Brown said. "If it's within the rules, hey, at this time, you do whatever you can to win. As long as it's within the rules."
But is it in the rules? A quick search of the NBA rulebook surprisingly turns up no results for "opposing team's executive director of basketball operations throws a towel in the air to distract a player shooting free throws." However, the NBA was just recently made aware of Ainge's actions, so if there is any discipline, it'll be handed down soon.
At the very least, this towel incident will surely turn out better than the last time Ainge was in a terrycloth controversy. It's not like Robert Horry(notes) will be suspended for this, then traded away from the Suns, only to come back and be Public Enemy No. 1 in Phoenix years later. At least I hope not.
- Danny Ainge