EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 25, 2013

Danny, blow it up now

With Doc's departure, it's senseless not to rebuild

Michael Muldoon
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — The last thing the next Boston Celtics coach needs is Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce sticking around next season.

They’d be like well-meaning parents tagging along with their college-age kids to an after-hours rave.

Danny Ainge should buy a couple of sticks of dynamite and blow it up.

Their time in Boston has come and gone. It’s just time ... and everybody knows it.

Garnett is 37 and Pierce turns 36 in October. Their numbers soon will be in the Garden rafters and Bostonians will root for them to win a title with their new teams.

Unless it is the L.A. Clippers. Doc Rivers has to serve his purgatory first. Teflon Doc was beloved in Boston.

But it turns out he’s just another middle-aged guy with a wandering eye, shocking the family (in this case the Boston fans) by leaving his faithful Yankee wife for the bleach-blonde Hollywood bimbo.

The deal was finalized yesterday: Doc for the Clippers’ unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick.

It doesn’t seem like much but he was due $21 million over the next three years. The C’s could save $12 million alone with the new coach. They’ll need to tighten the purse strings as the next few years could be a bumpy ride. Hopefully, the ownership doesn’t get cold feet and think tickets sales over true rebuilding.

Ray Allen bolting last summer was the beginning of the end of the New Big 3 era and the Knicks series illustrated how futile it would be to attempt to milk a seventh-year out of the original three-year plan.

I’d rather take a windy walk with the Wallendas than bring back KG and Pierce.

Nothing against those two great Celtics. Again, it just is time like “The Office” post-Steve Carell.

If they do return, it’s likely because Ainge couldn’t deal them — and remember KG would have to waive his no-trade clause — or it just made fiscal sense not to unload them until a later date.

The first decision is whether to buy out Pierce this week for $5 million or guarantee him another season at $15.3 million.

You can’t rebuild with a bunch of legendary old-timers in prominent roles. And with their pedigree, age and salaries, it hardly makes sense for them to remain in green. Both would be terrific additions to championship-caliber teams but the Celtics won’t be hoisting banner 18 any time soon.

It’s time to build around the young and athletic trio of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley and promising young power forward Jared Sullinger. While that’s not a championship unit, neither would it be with Pierce, who struggled mightily in the first-round playoff loss against the eminently ordinary Knicks, and Garnett.

Doc has held the franchise hostage the last several weeks, but the rebuilding has begun. The draft is Thursday and Boston picks 16th.

Danny, you’re on the clock. In more ways than one.

Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.