One side effect of being a very good NBA head coach with a strong staff: Your assistants will be highly coveted.
Such is the case with Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics, it seems. Stevens’ longest-tenured assistant coach, Jay Larranaga, told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach he met with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday about their head coach vacancy.
Larranaga also interviewed for head coach jobs with the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, and although those posts have been filled, he was in line to get one of those openings “if he had wanted it,” a league source told Himmelsbach.
The Bucks still are narrowing down a list of candidates that includes San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, who is seeking to become the first female head coach in NBA history, and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt.
The new candidate would replace interim coach Joe Prunty, who took over after the Bucks fired Jason Kidd in January.
The C’s already have lost assistant Walter McCarty, who took the head job at the University of Evansville in March, while longtime assistant Micah Shrewsberry was a serious candidate for the University of Massachusetts gig last spring before deciding to remain in Boston.
It appears Larranaga, the only Celtics assistant who’s been with the team longer than Stevens, will be selective in his search.
“What I’ve communicated in all my interviews is I really value where I am and it would have to be a really great opportunity to leave,” Larranaga told the Globe.
The 43-year-old assistant won’t be doing any interviews Tuesday, though, as his focus shifts to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs.
“It’s been interesting just from a time management standpoint,” Larranaga admitted, “just trying to be prepared for an interview while also being prepared for playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.”
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