ST. LOUIS - Sporting News has named Boston Celtics Executive Director, Basketball Operations and General Manager, the 2007-08 NBA Executive of the Year.

Sporting News polled general managers and other executives from all 30 teams, and Ainge received 18 of the 47 votes cast. He beat out Los Angeles Lakers general manager, Mitch Kupchak, who had 14 votes, and New Orleans Hornets general manager Jeff Bower who had 12.

“He orchestrated a stunning and record setting turnaround of a struggling team with two great trades and various other roster acquisitions.” said Brian Colangelo, President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors and the 2005 Executive of the Year.

Pat Williams, Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic added, “Ainge was the architect of the most dramatic NBA turnaround ever.”

Danny Ainge is the first member of the Boston Celtics to receive the Executive of the Year award since its inception in the 1972-73 season.

Stan McNeal, Sporting News NBA writer, will present the Executive of the Year award to Danny Ainge prior to Wednesday’s game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Celtics and Cavaliers.