The Boston Celtics have been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2020-21 NBA regular season and now the team’s loyal fanbase is looking for someone to blame. At 35-33, the Celtics sit in the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, landing them in the dreaded play-in tournament, with just three games to go.
Although injuries have lowered the team’s ceiling, Charles Barkley thinks that the issues in Boston run far deeper than just one person or one player. Instead, the Hall of Famer and now TNT analyst lays the blame at the feet of the entire organization.
“Danny Ainge is a good friend of mine, but he’s not done a good job with all those draft picks he had,” Barkley said on ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin. “He hasn’t done a good job because he made a mistake with Kyrie Irving, I think he made a mistake with Kemba Walker, and, um, that team is not very good at all.”
“Think about it — Boston had a hundred number one draft picks and they haven’t done anything with them. Now they’re irrelevant because there’s nobody in their right mind thinking, like, Boston is even close to being a contender so, like I say, you have to blame the guys. Brad Stevens got to get some blame for it too because when they were winning we were patting him on the back, now we got to kick him in the ass. That’s not personal, that’s just how this business works now.”
— Hardwood Houdini (@HoudiniCeltics) May 11, 2021
Ainge and Stevens have been widely regarded as some of the best decision-makers in the league, but both of the moves they’ve made recently deserve a healthy amount of criticism. Although some of the team’s players haven’t met expectations, the issues in Boston seem to spread far beyond the active roster.
Just a season ago, the Celtics were just two wins away from making their first NBA Finals appearance in over a decade. Now it looks like the organization is headed in the complete opposite direction.