Former Suns coach Danny Ainge is leaning toward taking a front-office job with the Boston Celtics, and an announcement could come any day, a source told the Tribune on Wednesday night.
Ainge quit as Suns coach in the middle of the 1999-2000 season, saying he needed to spend more time with his family than the rigors of being an NBA head coach would allow. Since then, he has said he'd be more likely to return to the NBA in a front-office capacity than as a coach.
The new Celtics ownership group met with Ainge on ‘‘at least two occasions’’ and were impressed with him, according to a story on The Boston Globe’s Web site, citing anonymous sources.
Ainge was offered the job of head of basketball operations, according to the Globe. Broadcast reports said he was offered the job of team president.
Chris Wallace is the current general manager and head of basketball operations. Former coach Red Auerbach is currently the team president.
Ainge, 44, has not yet decided whether to take the job but is seriously considering it, the newspaper said.
Ainge, who was in New Jersey broadcasting the Celtics-Nets series for TNT, told the Globe, ‘‘I know (Celtics owner) Steve Pagliuca. I have had conversations with him, but I can’t tell you what (they)those conversations were about.’’
Ainge played for the Suns for three seasons (1992-95) and coached them from November 1996 to December '99. His coaching record was 136-90. Ainge played in Boston 1981 to 1989 and was a member of two Celtics championship teams, in 1984 and 1986.