“I’ve gotten about 10 of those in the last month,” he said, laughing. “I love it.”
Then, there are those who simply know him as one of the neighborhood regulars, like the guys at Deluxe Pizza in Wellesley.
“Hello, my friend,” one shouted to Ainge as he walked in. “Good to see you.”
Starbucks coffee. Pastrami sandwiches. Hard rock. Celtics games. These are the little things Ainge enjoys now.
He’s still under contract with the Jets for another year, but has no idea whether he’ll play again _ and that’s of no concern to him right now. The Jets wouldn’t speculate on Ainge’s future with the team, and couldn’t comment on his drug and alcohol abuse, citing the confidentiality of the league’s steroid and substance-abuse policy.
“If football started tomorrow, I really don’t know if I’d be able to show up,” said Ainge, who will consider himself a Jet until the team tells him otherwise. “If it started in six months or a year, maybe I would. I don’t know.”
Truth is, Ainge isn’t focused on who he used to be, but rather on who he hopes to become.
“With all the things I accomplished, think of how amazing I could’ve been if I would’ve kept on the straight and narrow path and done things right,” he said. “I don’t lose sleep over that and I don’t have regrets. Life’s about what you do with what happens and I’m making those decisions now.
“I am a drug addict, went to rehab and am living in Boston. Now, what am I going to do about it? I’m living that right now, and so far, so good.”