Mar 9, 2012, 5:41 PM EDT
Danny Ainge likes to tell the story about how when he was a Celtic Red Auerbach said he could have traded Boston’s legendary “big three” of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish at the end of their careers but didn’t — and that Ainge wouldn’t make the mistake. Ainge felt holding on to them too long hurt the Celtics in rebuliding
Doesn’t feel like he is trying to move them too fast now, does it?
In fact, Larry Bird himself — still the power broker with the Indiana Pacers — says Ainge is finding living up to those words is not so easy. And he told ESPNBoston.com specifically of the time he and Ainge talked trade for Allen.
“When Danny and I talked about trading for Ray, he wanted Tyler Hansbrough and a first-round pick. If that’s the value he’s putting on Ray Allen, he ain’t getting it. That tells me he’s in no hurry to trade him.
“All that talk about Danny blowing it up, about not making the same mistakes as Red, is fine. But now that it’s his turn to pull the trigger, it’s a helluva lot harder than it looks.”
It’s the bind the Celtics find themselves in — there is interest in their players but the return on them is not going to be near equal value. Which makes breaking the group up all the harder. Keep asking a steep price and you will go home empty handed.
Go read the whole story — McHale, Bird and Parish tell great stories about the old days.