Danny Ainge - Updated Jul 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge is a retired NBA player, coach, executive, and former professional baseball player. Danny Ainge is currently serving as an executive for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Early Life

Danny Ainge was born in Eugene, Oregon, the United States, on March 17, 1959. His birth name is Daniel Ray Ainge and holds US citizenship. According to the astrological chart, he has a sun sign of Pisces and he is currently 64 years old as of 2023. He belongs to the White-American ethnicity and he has his belief in Christianity religion.

He is the son of Don Ainge Sr. and Kay Ainge. Moreover, he grew up with his three siblings Doug, Laurie, and David. Very little is known about his early childhood life.

Danny Ainge – High School

Moving forward to his academics, he attended North Eugene High School. During his time with North Eugene, he led the school basketball team to consecutive AAA state titles in 1976 and 1977, earning all-state honours both years and was considered one of the top football recruits in Oregon at wide receiver.

He was named to the 1977 Parade High School All-America team as a junior and is the only one to be a high school first-team All-American in football, basketball, and baseball.

College Career

After completing his graduation he played college basketball at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Moreover, he scored one of the best-known shots in the 1981 NCAA tournament, against Notre Dame in Atlanta in the Sweet Sixteen, when his coast-to-coast drive and lay-up with two seconds remaining gave the Cougars a one-point win.

He was an All-American, a two-time First Team Academic All-American, the WAC Player of the Year, and a four-time All-WAC selection during his four-year tenure with Brigham Young University. He finished his college career having scored in double figures in 112 consecutive games, an NCAA record at that time.

Professional Career

Baseball Career

Caption: Danny Ainge in the batting position (Source: Baseball America)

In the 1977 Amateur Major League Baseball draft, Danny Ainge was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays. For the team, he made his debut in 1979 while still in college. He excelled as a third baseman and was the youngest player in Bluejays history to smash a home run, at 20 years and 77 days. After three years with the Blue Jays, he decided to pursue a career in basketball.

Basketball Career

He was picked in the second round of the 1981 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, who had to buy out Ainge’s contract from the Blue Jays after a legal battle. He became a key player on the team and guided it to NBA championships in 1984 and 1986.

Caption: Danny Ainge bouncing the ball (Source: Celtics ☘️ Sentinel)

Ainge was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 1989 and spent one season with them. He was transferred to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990 and helped them reach the NBA Finals in 1992. Moreover, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1992, where he spent three seasons.

After the 1994-95 season, he announced his retirement and had the highest personal winning percentage in NBA history among players with at least 1,000 career games, edging out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 69.0% to 68.8%.

Coaching Career

He began working as an assistant to the head coach Cotton Fitzsimmons for the Phoenix Suns in 1996. After Fitzsimmons announced his retirement on 14th November 1996, Ainge was appointed as the head coach. During his tenure as head coach, he had a 136-90 record. Scott Skiles, an assistant coach, took over for Ainge later.

Executive

He was appointed as the executive director of Basketball Operations for the Celtics in the year 2003. During his tenure as an executive for the Celtics, he was often controversial, trading popular players such as three-time All-Star Antoine Walker and having personality conflicts with then-head coach Jim O’Brien.

Moreover, he announced his retirement and named head coach Brad Stevens as his replacement in the president of basketball operations role on the 2nd of June 2021.  He was hired as the CEO of basketball operations and alternate governor of the Utah Jazz on December 15, 2021.

Other Works

Aside from his playing career and serving as an executive, he has appeared in movies and commentary. He made his acting debut in the 1996 film “Space Jam” playing himself. He founded a nationwide network of hat stores while playing with the Suns, which he later sold. Moreover, he has volunteered for several non-profit organizations. In addition, he also worked as an NBA analyst on TNT.

Awards

He has earned several awards and recognition as a former player and executive. As a player, he has earned ‘2× NBA champion’ (1984, 1986), ‘NBA All-Star'(1988), ‘John R. Wooden Award’ (1981), ‘NABC Player of the Year (1981), ‘Consensus First-team All-American’ (1981), ‘Third-team All-American – NABC’ (1980), ‘Fourth-team All-American – NABC’ (1979)’ WAC Player of the Year’ (1981), and 4× First-team All-WAC'(1978–1981). Moreover, he is named the ‘NBA champion’ (2008) and ‘NBA Executive of the Year’ (2008) as an executive.

Net Worth 2023

As a basketball executive and former player, he has an estimated net worth of $14 million while his salary and income are under review. In addition, he has been able to earn a huge sum of fortune through his playing career, coaching, executive, and businesses.

Relationship Status

On 30 March 1979, Danny Ainge married to his longtime girlfriend Michelle Toolson. With the marriage, the couple is blessed with six children- sons Austin, Crew, Cooper, and Tanner Ainge and daughters Ashley, and Taylor Ainge. Meanwhile, his son Austin is the director of player personnel for the Boston Celtics, having played basketball at BYU.

Caption: Danny Ainge’s family photo (Source: BYU Magazine)

He had a mild heart attack in 2009, and another in 2019. Moreover, he has ADHD, according to a personality test he took when Doc Rivers was coaching the Celtics.

Danny Ainge – Body Measurements

Caption: Danny Ainge standing in the basketball coat (Source: The Athletic)

This American executive stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs around 79 kg. Moreover, he has a pair of blue eyes with blonde hair colour while his shoe size, dress size, etc. are not available.

Social Media

On his Twitter page ‘@danielrainge’ there are over 114.7k followers. Other than this, he is not present on Facebook and Instagram.