Bishop Ainge Takes in his Troubled Nephew

By: Mormon Heretic
May 9, 2011

Bishop Danny Ainge with his nephew Erik Ainge

I came across this interesting article about Erik and Danny Ainge.  Erik is a backup quarterback for the New York Jets, and former starting quarterback for the University of Tennessee.  I was surprised to learn that his uncle Danny is currently serving as bishop in Wellesley, Massachusetts, while working as President of the Boston Celtics.  I had no idea Danny was a bishop.

Erik admitted to using all sorts of drugs since the age of 11.  He is currently in drug rehab in the Boston area, and Danny has opened his home.  While it is sad that Erik has screwed up his life so bad, I am impressed that Danny has taken Erik into his home and assisted with his rehab.  I don’t think I would be so open with a relative with such a serious problem.  I’m greatly impressed with Danny’s service to Erik.  Your thoughts?

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15 Responses to Bishop Ainge Takes in his Troubled Nephew

  1. Stephen Marsh on May 9, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    Regardless of what one thinks of the young Danny Ainge, the older one has done things to put family first, moreso than this example shows.

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  2. Paul on May 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Good for them. Good for Erik for working on his own recovery and good for Danny and his family for their support.

    Families cope with mental illness and addiction all the time. It is a long, difficult process, and one hopes (and assumes) that Danny and his family are also getting the support they need to provide Erik the best kind of support.

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  3. mh on May 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    danny is an interesting person. I remember being thrilled when be beat notre dame in the ncaa tournament, and the ugly fight with tree rollins. as a celtics fan, I was always a fan of ainge, but he wasn’t always the nicest guy.

    when he coached phoenix, I wanted to interview him when I wrote for a small newspaper, but my brother advised me against it, saying he had a bad experience with danny.

    the older danny is probably nicer, but I am sure the boston media wears on him when he traded away kendrick perkins. like all of us, he does good things and bad things. taking care of erik is one of the good things; I am real curious what kind of a bishop he would be.

    I don’t know if danny’s kids are all out of the house. if he had small children, I wonder if he would be open to a drug addict in his house. I would be concerned, especially if he was a relative. I wonder how others would react.

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  4. Yet Another John on May 9, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    God bless his (Danny’s) wife!

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  5. Georgy on May 9, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    As someone who knows that Ainge family personally, I would have to say they are the ones who always put family first. This is no suprise to me.

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  6. shenpa warrior on May 9, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    @mh – I kind of like Jeff Green. I know it wasn’t a popular trade, and Perkins was a fan-favorite, but he seemed to get a lot of technical fouls too… we’ll see what happens. If the C’s win again, of course Ainge will look pretty good.

    Are we allowed to talk basketball at W&T? LOVE IT!

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  7. MH on May 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Shenpa, I try to talk sports once in a while, but apparently our readers don’t check us out for sports. With Boston losing to Miami today, it’s looking like the Perkins trade was not good. But maybe they’ll pull it out like they did against the 76ers back in the 80′s when they were down 3-1 and won the series!

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  8. shenpa warrior on May 9, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Well, if we can’t get Jon and Dan to argue about basketball, then… I’m at a loss.

    Yeah, it should be an interesting rest of the playoffs anyway. I never thought the West would look like it does now.

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  9. Douglas on May 10, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Just shows that even “celebrity LDS” have their issues. It’s not just we “freshly scrubbed” masses that have all the problem children.
    Danny was a bit of a hothead in his playing days, but he wouldn’t be a bishop if he hadn’t done some form of “anger management”. Like the other some 9000 bishops in the Church, Bishop Ainge is to be lauded and appreciated for his service.

    Best luck to Erik, and please don’t label him as “troubled”. “For all have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

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  10. Mormon Heretic on May 10, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Yes Douglas, we are all sinners. But Erik was doing heroin and has been on drugs since the age of 11. If you read the ESPN article, I think he easily fits the “troubled” label, and I don’t think he’s out of the woods yet. But best of luck to him and I hope he can stay clean. Drugs are some of the toughest sins to overcome, IMO. With the NFL lockout, he can’t use his health insurance to attend his counseling sessions.

    Jon and Dan (sounds like an old radio duo here in SLC.) Any opinions on the Lakers or Knicks getting swept?

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  11. Douglas on May 10, 2011 at 12:49 AM

    MH – the sad tale is still not a reason to label. Yes, condemn his poor choices (as I condemn mine own) and make him responsibile for throwing away the howitzer of a passing arm that the Good Lord gifted him with and he’s pathetically wasted. Let me be clear – I don’t excuse young Ainge for his foibles. I do applaud him for being candid and humble and hope that somehow he can restore his name and get another chance to prove his worth on the gridiron.
    Drugs (even Rx and OTC) can be the most terrible demon to face down. I’ve seen it in my own family. As strongly as I feel they should be decriminalised, that in no way makes drug abuse any less tragic.
    But I have no cause to get on my self-righteous high horse. Like all too many of the male of the species, I have brought upon my own self misfortune at times from testosterone poisoning. As Jimmy Buffet concludes the Maragaritaville song, “Some people claim, there’s a woman to blame…but I know…it’s my own dammed fault!”

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  12. Paul on May 10, 2011 at 5:56 AM

    Douglas, more important than not calling young Erik troubled is not calling him a sinner. Once addiction takes root it is as much an illness as cancer. While there may have been poor choices at the start, addiction is a disease requiring treatment, not a moral failing.

    Further Erik’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder is another illness which requires treatment, and it seems he’s getting help, which is terrific.

    I think MH’s “troubled” label is appropriate and not derisive. Even better, Erik is seeking and receiving help. May he continue to do so.

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  13. shenpa warrior on May 10, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Re: Douglas & labels – you can always say person WITH an addiction, rather than addict, for example.

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  14. mh on May 10, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    I will have to check the article, but I am pretty sure erik called himself a drug addict. correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t alcoholic’s anonymous require members to call themselves alcoholics? recognizing (and not denying) the problem is one of the first steps to recovery.

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  15. Paul on May 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    His first words: “I’m a drug addict.” Standard recovery language. Like a patient saying, “I’m a cancer patient.” Or “I’m a diabetic.”

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