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As most NBA fans were drooling over the potential blockbuster trade that almost sent Paul George of the Indiana Pacers to the Boston Celtics, two familiar faces had to have been on multiple phone calls with each other. One more stubborn than myself, and the other pressing hard for what he wanted in return. The result was that absolutely nothing happened, and I was left at 3 p.m. EST feeling slightly cheated of the Twitter storm that could have, and should have happened.
I want to believe that these are how some of the phone calls went between old Larry Joe Bird and Danny Ainge, but if they didn’t happen this way, don’t tell me because I’d like to keep my imagination in tact.
Trade D(eadline)-Day, 7:43 a.m. EST.
Bird: Hey, Danny boy, how’s it going this morning?
Ainge: Oh, hey, Larry, didn’t expect to hear anything from you this morning, what’s up?
Bird: I’m calling to see if you and the Celtics would be interested in acquiring Paul George.
Ainge: Why of course I would be interested in that.
Bird: Great. The Nets 2017 pick has to be included in the deal, though.
Bird: What do you think?
Ainge: schhhhhehhhhhh you’re breaking schhhhehhhhhhrhhhh up schhhrhrhhhh bye.
Bird is not phased by the abrupt end to the short phone call. He actually expected it, but will be reluctant to try to pry that Nets 2017 pick out of Ainge’s hands.
Trade D(eadline)-Day, 8:14 a.m. EST.
Bird: Hey, Danny, seem to have lost you there earlier, you still think this Paul George thing might happen?
Ainge: I’m not sure, Larry. The Nets pick is one of my prized possessions. I sort of love it more than I love myself.
Bird: Uh, that’s kind of weird, but that’s the only way you’re going to get Paul George from me.
Ainge: I gotta go look at my Nets pick real quick. I’ll talk to you after lunch.
Bird is now sure that Ainge is mildly thinking about setting the Nets pick free to Indiana, but he knows it will take much more than the small, smooth talk he’s given Ainge so far.
Trade D(eadline)-Day, after lunch 12:37 p.m. EST.
Bird: Danny, we’re almost down to two hours until the deadline. I’ll give you George if you give me the Nets pick and a couple of expiring contracts.
Trade D(eadline)-Day, 2:33 p.m. EST.
Bird: All right, Danny, this is the last time I’ll ask this: Do you want to make a deal?
Ainge: I… just… uhhhhhh… Larry, I don’t know.
Bird: Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Ainge:… No, sorry. I love you.
And that is how Thursday’s conversations between Larry Bird and Danny Ainge went, and how another blockbuster trade did not happen.