Could a history lesson have saved the 2018-19 Boston Celtics?
That Celtics team was loaded with talent but couldn't make it past the second round of the playoffs, doomed by poor chemistry and inconsistent play. What they didn't lack, however, was confidence -- perhaps too much of it. (Or at least the wrong kind of it.)
Appearing on the latest episode of "The Michael Holley Podcast" alongside Celtics managing partners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge shared a telling exchange he had with Jaylen Brown last season in the team's lunch room.
"He came and sat behind me, and he said, 'Do you think we're as good as the 1986 Celtics team?' " Ainge told host Michael Holley. "And I went, 'Oh my gosh. He's so young.' "
The 1986 Celtics, teeming with future Hall of Famers like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish as well as a young Ainge, are considered one of the best teams in NBA history and steamrolled to a championship after a 67-win season.
The 2018-19 Celtics had Kyrie Irving, a still-recovering Gordon Hayward and a bunch of young kids. And to Ainge, Brown's comparison was a sign of that group's naivete.