While Markelle Fultz was giving the Sixers his respect for remembering to pick up Chick-fil-A, Josh Jackson was punching Danny Ainge in the fucking dick.
Well, at least figuratively.
Miles above the Northern California terrain, Danny Ainge processed some upsetting news.
With Celtics Assistant GM Mike Zarren and head coach Brad Stevens on board, Ainge and the Celtics’ top brass had been informed by Josh Jackson’s camp that the workout they were flying coast to coast for had been abruptly cancelled.
In the precious hours in draft week, the team had wasted an entire day for nothing. No face time, no workout, nothing.
“They just decided to cancel it as we flew. As Brad and I and Mike Zarren flew cross country,” Ainge told reporters in his post-draft press conference.
“Yeah, I was mad! We flew across country. Are you kidding me? I had to get up at four o’clock and fly back home.”
Despite Josh Jackson saying Wednesday in multiple interviews that he couldn’t set up a workout due to, “logistics issues,” Ainge made it clear Jackson’s camp was hell bent on sabotage.
Jackson said he had talked to Celtics coaches over the phone earlier in the process, but this was refuted by Ainge.
“[I] Never talked with Josh. No one in our organization did. I know someone wrote something that was different, but that’s not the case.”
Some of this is standard pre-draft tactics, but it seems odd that Jackson would be so against Boston, which was reported to be quite high on him (in fact, some thought the Sixers trade hinged on the Celtics being able to get Jackson at three). And yet Jackson was apparently pissed that he dropped to fourth.
Maybe the canceled workout had something to do with the late Jayson Tatum hype (which Bill Simmons conveniently helped with). All I know is that if I was a Celtics fan today, I’d be apoplectic. Once again, Danny Ainge is spouting what-if scenarios after the fact, all while the team traded away its number one overall pick, didn’t wind up with the one player other than Fultz who some felt was a number one talent in Jackson, and is left to comment on the blockbuster trades pulled off by others:
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) June 23, 2017
So the Celtics didn’t get the best player in the draft. Or the second best player. Or wind up with a star. Rather, they’re left with a weird mix of guards, an old-school style swingman whose skill set is one NBA teams no longer value, and 31-year-old Al Horford’s 7 rebounds per game. Sure, they have a cocksmouth of first round draft picks over the next few years, but does anyone expect Ainge to make the best of it? Boston scares me NONE going forward.
As for Jackson: A lot of people tried to make something out of his off-the-court incident and live-wire attitude. Maybe there’s something there. But I still really like him as a player and feel like if he harnesses that passion, he could be a great one. Meanwhile, the Celtics will have Tatum jacking up 12-foot jumpers. Cool!