Danny Ainge Hired As CEO Of Jazz Basketball
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz have hired Danny Ainge to serve as the team’s CEO and Alternate Governor.
Ainge spent 18 seasons in a front-office role with the Boston Celtics, and last served as the general manager and president of Basketball Operations. Ainge has won three NBA titles as a member of the Celtics organization, two as a player and one as an executive.
The news of Ainge’s hiring was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 15, 2021
Ainge is a longtime friend of Jazz owner Ryan Smith and had been rumored to be in the running for a front-office job after leaving the Celtics.
“We have big aspirations for Smith Entertainment Group and the Utah Jazz,” Smith said in a release by the team. “Danny is one of the best basketball minds in the world and he’s also passionate about this state and our community. We believe in adding the best talent to all facets of our organization and are lucky to have Danny’s acumen and experience.”
Former Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey moved to an advisory role with the Jazz during the offseason handing over the front office duties to longtime team general manager Justin Zanik.
Lindsey was hired as the Jazz’s general manager in 2012 and was promoted to Vice President of Basketball operations in 2019. The longtime NBA front office member began his career in Houston and stopped in San Antonio before being hired by the Jazz.
Last week, Ainge told NBCSports Boston that he was planning on moving into an advisory role with the Celtics, but would remain open to other roles in the league.
“I’m not closing the book on other opportunities but they’d have to be the right situation,” Ainge said. “I’d have to be working with the right people, in the right role. I don’t want to get back into 18-hour days. I don’t think that’s in anybody’s best interest, for that matter.”
Jazz owner Ryan Smith has had a longtime friendship with Ainge, who was a legendary player at BYU. Ainge stepped down as Celtics GM after last season, but now returns with the Jazz to oversee basketball operations and work closely with GM Justin Zanik.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2021
Ainge played college basketball at nearby BYU and has lived in Utah since leaving the Celtics.
The Jazz are 19-7 on the season and own the third-best record in the Western Conference.
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