While most of the NBA has gone into quarantine after 14 known positive coronavirus tests have emerged around the league in recent weeks, one top executive has tried to maintain some semblance of his normal routine. Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, still has work to do, and as he revealed in an interview with Steve Bullpett of The Boston Herald, he’s doing it out of the Celtics’ team offices while the rest of the organization works from home.
“I try to get outside,” Ainge said. “The weather’s been pretty good. But I’ve been going into the office. I’ve been the only one that’s at the facility, and mostly just watching film and walking inclines on the treadmill and walking the back stairway and doing some exercise. And then I come home and I have my two boys and their wives here with (wife) Michelle and I, which makes it fun.”
In a sense, this could still be described as social distancing. If Ainge is the only one in the building, the risk of him spreading a potential infection would obviously be minimal. The Celtics have had one known positive test for the virus, though, as Marcus Smart revealed his diagnosis last week.
Ainge’s Celtics played against the Utah Jazz, who have had two positive tests so far, on March 6, and the Brooklyn Nets, with four, on March 3. He is no spring chicken at 61-years-old, and he suffered mild heart attacks in 2009 and 2019. Still, he told Bullpett that he isn’t particularly scared of getting sick.
“I know that it feels really scary, and I know that it is scary for some, but I don’t feel really scared,” Ainge said. “I feel more concerned, I guess, with all of the people whose livelihoods are being taken away from them, and I think that that is scary.”
Ainge went on to mention that he has not had physical contact with anyone from the organization since either March 1 or 2, though he is in communication with players and staff daily. Given the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus at this point, there is no telling how long Ainge will have the facility to himself. For the time being, the entire league is in a holding pattern as it awaits word from governments and medical experts about whether a return to basketball will be safe in time to finish the season.