Ainge: Winning titles, not East, goal for Celtics

Danny Ainge of the Celtics says winning the NBA title is the goal, not winning the East.

LeBron James has long been the keeper of the moat in the Eastern Conference.

Any team that aspired to reach the NBA Finals was faced with the daunting task of attempting to traverse a path through a team led by James, pretty much for the last decade.

James, who has led eight consecutive teams to Eastern Conference championships and trips to the Finals — the first four in Miami and the last four with Cleveland — has taken his talents to Hollywood and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

So the moat has been bridged for the teams in the East James has left in his wake for years, correct?

Not according to Danny Ainge.

“What do I care about the Eastern Conference? I don’t really care about that,” Ainge, the Boston Celtics president of basketball operations told reporters after the Celtics’ summer team practiced in Las Vegas. “We’re trying to win championships, and you still have to play LeBron.

“I think that there’s a lot of good teams in the East that get undersold a little bit,” he continued. “I think Washington, and Milwaukee [is] an up-and-coming team, and Toronto was the best team in the conference last year during the regular season. I think they’re a fantastic team. So the East is going to be tough.”

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