The New England Patriots and the Boston Celtics are extremely similar on multiple fronts. For starters, they’re two of the most iconic sports franchises of all time. Together, they have 23 championships and a combined .573 winning percentage.
However, if you were to only consider the last two decades, the Patriots have been far more successful on the biggest stage.
While New England has won six titles since the turn of the century, the Celtics have managed has just one despite 17 playoff appearances.
The Celtics have been one of the most consistent franchises over the last 20 years, but their tendency to fizzle out in the playoffs has finally caught up with them. After the Nets wiped the floor with them in the first round, Boston has opted to make sweeping changes to their front office and coaching staff.
Per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Danny Ainge is resigning as president of basketball operations, with a formal announcement expected later on Wednesday. In an unexpected twist, Brad Stevens is expected to step down as head coach and assume Ainge’s front office role.
You know what this means, Patriots fans? Bill Belichick will outlast Danny Ainge in Boston, and that is absolutely mind-boggling.
The city of Boston losing Danny Ainge before Bill Belichick is bizarre.
Though Ainge was stuck in his ways from a roster building standpoint (he loved hoarding draft picks and was notoriously reluctant to make “the big move” after he fleeced the Nets in 2013), his tenure was far more successful than fans will give him credit for.
After all, transitioning from one core of players — Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who helped Boston win a title in 2008 and make the playoffs in six straight seasons — to another (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, etc.) while missing the playoffs just once and avoiding a multi-year rebuild is almost unprecedented.
However, the Celtics haven’t made a Finals appearance since 2010, when they were left devastated by the Lakers in a seven-game classic. Boston’s best chance to get over the championship hump since then came during a four-year window from 2017 to 2020, when they made two conference finals appearances and two conference semis.
As expected, these repeated shortcomings have resulted in Celtics fans turning on Ainge, who felt no other choice but to step down from his position, which he held since 2003.
The story simply isn’t the same with Belichick. Under his tutelage, the Patriots have made nine Super Bowls, winning six of them, which is tied with the Steelers for the most in NFL history.
When you consider how often coaches are fired in the NFL (they call the Monday day after the final week of the regular season Black Monday for a reason), it’s remarkable to think that Belichick is going to outlast Ainge, who seemed destined to spend the remainder of his front office career with the Celtics.
Is this a sad day in the city of Boston? No doubt, but the Celtics’ facelifting their franchise following another early playoff exit proves fans in New England should appreciate Belichick’s unrivaled longevity and success even more than before.