Before the Boston Celtics won the championship in 2008 (after the team's President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge brought Kevin Garnett in a blockbuster trade as well as Ray Allen to the team) the last title the team won was of course in 1986.
Although the team contended for a title for the next few seasons with the original "Big Three" still intact, there was a span of subpar seasons after Larry Bird retired in 1992 where the team was not close to that championship level. It appears as though Ainge, who was a part of that '86 team as a player, is resigned to the fact that this version of the Celtics is headed in that direction as well.
During his weekly call with WEEI 93.7 FM, his final appearance of the season, Ainge admitted that the team was far away from contention and feels that even bringing the same guys back healthy wouldn't give them a chance at a title next year.
Ainge also stated that he didn't feel that they were even one player away from returning to a contender status.
I certainly don’t think we are one player away, we’re more than that. Unless that was a really, really special player. I think we’re more than that away. It would be tough to become a championship-level team where we are with the salary cap and our structure. We invested a lot this year in hopes of that we could maximize Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett's] career, and it just didn’t work out. I think the injury to [Rajon] Rondo and [Jared Sullinger] and [Leandro] Barbosa really hurt us, and took away any chance that we might have had. Even though it was a longshot that we would be a championship team this year, if everything fell our way, we thought we could [compete], but it didn’t work out that way."
During the call, Ainge discussed the return of his coach, Doc Rivers, as well as his aging stars in Paul Pierce and Garnett. He seemed confident in the return of Rivers and Garnett, but did not confirm his feelings on Pierce coming back for a 16th season.
Regardless of his statements publicly, Ainge will certainly have many very difficult decisions to make with his roster for next season, none moreso than with Paul Pierce and his expiring contract.