As expected, the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League have named Austin Ainge to be the clubs very first head coach.
“I have always been intrigued by new ideas and innovation,” Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings said in the news conference on Tuesday. “Austin Ainge brings that to our team. He blew me away with his ability to analyze players and game strategy. When I was a young coach with the Celtics, video was the new revolution. Today, it’s statistical analysis. Austin brings that to a whole new level. Combine that with his ability to develop players and his background, and he is going to be a fantastic head coach.”
Ainge is the 27-year-old son of Celtics president Danny Ainge. The younger Ainge was recently a scout for the C's after serving as an assistant coach for Southern Utah University. He also followed his father's footsteps by attending BYU, where he was a two-year captain on the men's basketball team.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Maine Red Claws as head coach,” said Ainge, whose Red Claws are affiliates of both the Celtics and Bobcats. “I believe we are at the beginning of building something great for the Portland community and the NBA D-League."
Ainge also served as the coach of the C's Summer League team in Las Vegas earlier this summer and feels that despite his young age, he's ready and able for the job.
“I have had the unique opportunity to be on many sides of this business,” Ainge said. “A main focus for me, as I have drawn from each situation, is talent evaluation. That includes both as the team is being assembled and during the season. As a coach, you must focus on which plays to call and what defensive adjustments to make, but even more important is which players are your best players and which lineups are playing the best together. Evaluating your own players and lineups is paramount, and using statistical analysis is a big help in making more accurate evaluations.”