Irish Coffee: Meet the new Celtics coaching staff
|08.22.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
The Celtics announced the finalization of their coaching staff for the 2013-14 NBA season, completing a two-month overhaul of the staff since trading Doc Rivers to the Clippers for an unprotected first-round pick in 2015.
The C’s surrounded coach Brad Stevens with new assistants Ron Adams, Micah Shrewsbury and Walter McCarty, who join holdovers Jamie Young and Jay Larranaga from Rivers’ staff last season.
“I am really excited about our assistant coaching staff that we have here in Boston,’ said Stevens. ‘In this group, we have successfully assembled a passionate, intelligent, hard-working, and humble staff with a diverse set of experiences in coaching. We are all eager to get to work with this year’s team, and take great pride in being a part of the Boston Celtics organization.”
So, who exactly are these guys?
BRAD STEVENS: By all accounts, he’s a brilliant young basketball mind who led the unheralded Butler program to back-to-back NCAA title games. That much was evident in our half-hour discussion on the Green Street podcast. A calm demeanor, fierce competitive streak and in-depth statistical analysis guided his process-oriented approach that consistently produced steady improvement over the course of a season. Ever aware of the historical evidence against college coaches succeeding at the NBA level, he’s smart enough to know that what worked collegiately doesn’t necessarily translate to the pros.
‘There’s a minimum level of ability that goes into making this thing successful anyway,” Stevens said last month. “All the other intangibles are certainly extremely important and maybe give you an advantage in a low possession game, so you have to have that minimum level of talent, and you coach to those intangibles the best you can.’
RON ADAMS: For the past three seasons, Adams served under former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau on a Bulls team that generated a .683 winning percentage. A defensive guru, Adams began coaching his alma mater Fresno Pacific University before Stevens was even a zygote in 1972 and has served as an assistant on five NBA benches since 1992, providing the experience necessary after the Celtics hired a 36-year-old head coach.
JAY LARRANAGA: Also considered to replace Rivers and a finalist for the recently filled 76ers position, the 38-year-old Larranaga is another bright young basketball mind. The son of University of Miami men’s coach Jim Larranaga, he served as player-coach for the Irish national team and head man for the Erie Bayhawks in the NBA Development League before his first season as an NBA assistant on the Celtics bench last year.
JAMIE YOUNG: Like Larranaga, Young is a holdover from Doc’s staff and even predated Rivers in Boston, joining the organization 12 years ago. Building the binder on opposing players around the NBA, Young served as a video coordinator and advanced scout for the large part of his tenure before officially joining the bench last season.
MICAH SHREWSBERRY: A point guard for Indiana’s Hanover College in the late 1990s, Shrewsberry has made his bones mentoring backcourts as an assistant at Butler from 2008-11 and Purdue University for the past two seasons. He helped mold Shelvin Mack into a second-round NBA draft pick, Terone Johnson into an All-Big 10 performer and Ronnie Johnson into Purdue’s second-best freshman assists man ever, guiding a group whose 8.7 turnovers per game ranked the lowest in the nation in his first season with the Boilermakers.
WALTER MCCARTY: Everyone remembers McCarty as a Celtics forward from 1997-2005 and the subject of Celtics legend Tommy Heinsohn‘s many “I love Waltah!” episodes, but he’s been around the Celtics for the past year, consulting for their community relations efforts during the 2012-13 season. Also a jazz musician, the personable McCarty is well-regarded by his former NBA coaches, serving as an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville for three seasons and on Jim O’Brien‘s Pacers staff in 2010-11.
The Celtics did not include 23-year-old statistical mastermind Drew Cannon among the names in the press release, although he is expected to join the organization in some capacity. Cannon interned for recruiting analyst Dave Telep while studying statistics at Duke University and publishing his analysis for various media outlets, earning the attention of Stevens, who offered him a job on the Butler staff last season.