By Michael Bennett
Want to know why the Boston Celtics chose Jayson Tatum instead of Josh Jackson at No. 4 in last night’s NBA draft?
Might it have something to do with Jackson stiffing GM Danny Ainge who flew cross-country to see Jackson’s workout but got shut out?
“We never talked with Josh, no one in our organization did,” Ainge told the Boston Globe early this morning after the draft. “Someone wrote that was different but that’s not the case. They canceled a workout on us, when we flew out to Sacramento and they just decided to cancel it as we flew. (Coach) Brad (Stevens), (assistant general manager) Mike Zarren and I flew cross country. So there was something he didn’t want to play for the Celtics.
“In spite of that, we watched Josh for two years and we’re fans. He’s a terrific kid and a good player.”
“We try to not overreact to those types of things and make a big deal about it,” Ainge said. “Agents and players have all sorts of motivations to get to certain places as we’ve seen in past. Last year (former Providence guard) Kris Dunn didn’t want to come here. We didn’t hold it against him. We felt like we were just taking the player that we wanted. I think the same thing this time. I don’t think we were trying to penalize Josh too much.
“We didn’t get to see him or talk to him face-to-face.”
When asked of his emotions after being stood up, Ainge said: “Well there were thoughts, I was mad. We flew cross country. We had to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and fly back home.”
When asked what he did in the meantime, Ainge said: “There’s nothing to do in Sacramento. I might get in trouble (with that statement).”