With Joe Mazzulla’s inexperience, it was speculated the Boston Celtics might bring a former NBA head coach onto the bench to support Mazzulla.
It appears Boston is going a different route and may try to add a trusted option of Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens instead.
The Celtics are looking to get permission to speak with Los Angeles Clippers assistant Jay Larranaga to join Mazzulla’s staff for the upcoming season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Tuesday night. Larranaga is very familiar with Boston after spending nine seasons with the Celtics before departing for the Clippers when Stevens moved into the front office last year and Ime Udoka was hired as the team’s head coach.
Larranaga, who got his start in Boston during the 2012-13 season, was on Stevens’ staff for three runs to the Eastern Conference finals and became a top assistant of the now Celtics boss.
Trying to add a coach to the staff three weeks before the start of the regular season is a difficult position the Celtics were put in due to the scandal involving Udoka. Udoka, who has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, reportedly had an improper relationship with a Celtics staffer and The Athletic?s Shams Charania noted the coach made “unwanted comments” toward the individual.
Bringing Larranaga back would give the Celtics a familiar face they can rely on and someone Mazzulla knows as well with the interim head coach entering his fourth season with the organization.
Larranaga could help provide some guidance for Mazzulla as his only head coaching experience has come during a two-year stint at Division 2 Fairmont State and last year during Summer League.