"It's unfortunate that one person gets credit or blame for a team's failures," Ainge said Wednesday. "We had a lot of reasons the team did not succeed this year. Kyrie deserves his share of the blame, but not any more than anybody else."
The Celtics managed just a No. 4 seed in the playoffs and lost to Milwaukee in five games. Irving shot 30% during the four-game losing streak that ended the season, and Boston fans began openly rooting for him to decline his option and become a free agent.
Ainge said Irving has given no indication about his future.
"I don't know. There's not much I can say about that, honestly, but there's ongoing conversations."
Ainge said there were players who questioned their roles or otherwise struggled to fit into the role that Stevens put them in. Although Ainge did not single him out, guard Terry Rozier has complained publicly about what he "put up with" in a season when his minutes dropped for the first time in his career.
"There's a lot of guys that didn't handle things the right way and didn't make the sacrifices that needed to be done for the benefit of the team," Ainge said. "We didn't have 100% buy-in from 100% of the team. I did not anticipate that."
And though it was Stevens' job to work that out, Ainge said he has no doubts about his coach.
Wilbon questions if the Celtics are better with Kyrie
Mike Wilbon discusses how the Celtics played better without Kyrie Irving, hearing it's likely he won't return to Boston and if teams "want to make him the focal point."
"Brad, he's the least of our concerns," Ainge said. "I wish every one of our players would put the time and effort in that Brad does."
Ainge also noted that discussions with Al Horford on restructuring his deal is one of the team's top priorities this offseason.
Ainge, who suffered what the team described as a "mild" heart attack in early May, is doing his best to keep up. He said his illness didn't hinder preparations for the June 20 draft, when the Celtics have four picks, including Nos. 14, 20 and 22 in the first round. They will have worked out nearly 100 players "of all shapes and sizes."
And he's trying to follow doctors' orders.
Ainge said he was told to exercise more and lose weight. He also needs to improve his diet, but he won't be looking to former teammate, and noted marijuana enthusiast, Bill Walton for recipes.
"I'm eating more plants," he said. "Not the kind of plants in Walton's garden, by the way."
There's one thing, though, that Ainge was able to rule out as he returned to work following his second heart attack: "My role's not going to change."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.