BOSTON — Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga reportedly is in the mix for the vacant head-coaching position at George Mason, and he received a glowing recommendation Monday from C’s bench boss Brad Stevens.
Stevens said he hadn’t heard about the school’s reported interest in his top lieutenant but that Larranaga certainly is a deserving candidate.
“I have no idea,” Stevens said before the Celtics’ matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. “They’d be smart to pursue him. I don’t know what his interests are, and I don’t want to speak for him, but anybody would be smart to pursue him.”
Larranaga played professionally overseas from 1997 to 2009 and spent two seasons coaching the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League before joining Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston in 2012. The 39-year-old also has ties to George Mason, where his father, Jim, coached the Patriots for 14 seasons, including their stunning run to the Final Four in 2006.
The younger Larranaga interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies in Boston and Philadelphia before the teams hired Stevens and Brett Brown, respectively.
“He’s just a really good basketball guy,” Stevens said. “He’s smart, he works really hard, he’s very positive. I’ve talked about our staff and how great they’ve been all year. Any of those guys would be good for opportunities like (the George Mason job). One of the things that I’m excited about is that I get to work with those guys every day, because I learn a lot more from them than they learn from me.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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