fans of the Maine Red Claws in the NBA's Development League, having a
skipper by the name of 'Coach Ainge' sounds like a wonderful idea.
No, no, no. Not that Ainge.
Austin Ainge, the 28-year-old son of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge,
is one of three finalists to become the first head coach of one of the
D-League's newest teams, the Maine Red Claws of Portland, Maine.
The younger Ainge played his hoops at BYU, just like his pops,
graduating in 2007. Since graduating, he spent a season as an assistant
coach at Southern Utah University before becoming a scout for the
Celtics. His latest bit of work came as the Celtics' summer-league team
coach in Orlando last week.
Hiring the Claws head coach is former Celtics assistant coach and scout, Joe Jennings. Jennings
was hired by the C's more than 20 years ago, at age 27, to become an
assistant coach and do a bit of scouting. Now, the longtime Celtics'
bench staple is serving as the president and general manager of the Maine club.
"We're very close," Jennings told the Morning Sentinel
about hiring a coach. "It's a very important decision for the franchise
to find a coach who really, really wants to work in this league, be in
Portland and develop players."
Since Maine is a dual affiliate of both the Celtics and Bobcats, Jennings has been in talks with C's coach Doc Rivers as well as Bobcats coach Larry Brown. Although
no decision has been made as of July 15, many could agree that the
young Ainge lad is perfectly suited for such a position.
"I've been very impressed with Austin. He does remind me a little of
myself," Jennings said. "He's a guy who embraces new technology and
obviously has great breeding.
"I also remember Austin when he was a little kid at our holiday parties," Jennings added with a smile.
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