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Former Celtics President Danny Ainge Hired as Alternate Governor, CEO of Jazz

The Jazz will hire Danny Ainge as the team's alternate governor and CEO, the team announced on Wednesday. Ainge will oversee basketball operations while Justin Zanik will remain as Utah's general manager.

Utah owner Ryan Smith built a longstanding friendship with Ainge, who was an outstanding player at BYU from '77 to '81.

Less than a week ago, Ainge's name was rumored in several NBA front office opportunities including the Trail Blazers search for a new president of basketball operations.

“I'm not closing the book on other opportunities, but they'd have to be the right situation, I'd have to be working with the right people, in the right role. . . I don't want to get back into 18 hour days,” Ainge said. “I don't think that's in anybody's best interest, for that matter. I know how much work it takes to be good at the job. At the same time, I have 40 years experience in the NBA, and I think I have a lot to offer some team that might see that, me as a helper to people in the organization. . . just depending on what the role is.”

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When Ainge stepped down from his position in Boston in June, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that Utah was a possible landing spot for Ainge. Now, he joins with general manager Justin Zanik, giving the Jazz front office a championship pedigree.

Ainge stepped down as the Celtics president of basketball operations on June 2. He was replaced by former Celtics coach Brad Stevens. The 62-year-old worked had previously worked in Boston since '03. He played a critical part in building Boston to a perpetual playoff team throughout the decade and helped the Celtics secure the '08 NBA title with player acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. 

Utah (19–7) currently sits third in the Western Conference behind the Suns and the Warriors. 

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