NBA

GM Danny Ainge on Isaiah Thomas: ‘Good leaders don’t look for blame’

Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics

General manager Danny Ainge didn’t like how Isaiah Thomas acted after the Boston Celtics’ 116-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. Ainge decided to have a conversation with Thomas and defended coach Brad Stevens.

“Nobody prepares more for a game than Brad,” Ainge told the Herald, “not even Isaiah, who really prepares. Players don’t know what it’s like to coach. I took Isaiah’s comments as frustration. He hates to lose. But good leaders don’t look for blame. It’s easy to lead when things are going well. It’s much more difficult when adversity strikes. And everyone will face adversity.”

Isaiah Thomas is currently playing his best season, averaging 29.4 points and 6.1 assists on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc. His incredible performance every game is undeniably one of the main reasons why the Boston Celtics are considered a legitimate contender this season. So far, they are 41-24 in the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference and just one win behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Their ability to contend for the title this season gave an increased pressure on the Celtics, especially to their scoring leader Isaiah Thomas. After suffering a defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thomas expressed his frustration and called the loss “unacceptable”. He criticized coach Brad Stevens’ rotation and told the reporters that “we can’t be experimenting in Game 63.”

Danny Ainge defends coach Brad Stevens against Isaiah Thomas

Thomas felt they could have won the game if coach Brad Stevens made the right substitution pattern. It was the second time Thomas voiced out his frustration this season. General manager Danny Ainge sees the need to step up and gave his opinion on the issue.

“I know Brad is a great coach — even one of the best — but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a mistake, just like great players do. But I know he will learn from his mistakes because he doesn’t look to place blame but looks internally for what he can do to maximize his talent,” Ainge said. “I talk with Isaiah about becoming a better leader, and I think he can and will develop into one. He, too, will learn from this.”

Ainge isn’t taking any side but wants it to be a learning experience for Thomas. Coach Brad Stevens seemed to understand his players’ sentiment and explained that his rotation was based on the players available. So far, the recent obstacle helped the Celtics become a better team, proven by their 99-86 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr.com

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