Celtics Coaching Search
As Brad Stevens is on the search for the next Head Coach of the Boston Celtics, here’s my thoughts on what the Celtics should be looking for and who they should hire as the next head coach.
As I’ve said before the Celtics should be looking for someone that can relate to the players, get through to them, motivate them and ultimately get the most out of them. I want a coach that knows when to call a timeout, understanding when the team is not clicking. A coach that plays the right players at the right time, rotations are more important than the plays drawn up. At this point the X’s and O’s are way down on my list. The Celtics need a leader.
I want the Celtics to bring in a former player with coaching experience. Someone who can relate to what the players go through but also understands how to be a coach. I believe an African American coach is a necessity and based off reports, the Celtics believe that as well. I think hiring a black coach will go a long way in bringing this team together, getting the most out of this group and bringing the best out of their two young stars, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Brad Stevens cannot hire another Brad Stevens. He can’t hire another nerdy white guy from college that never played the game at the highest level. Been there, done that. Brad needs to motivate his players with this hire. He needs to excite the fan base with this hire.
Here’s a list of coaches I would hire and would love to see the Celtics hire, ranked:
1. Sam Cassell - It doesn’t seem like he’s the clear cut favorite to land the Celtics job but he should be, he’d be my first choice. He was a good player in his day, a savvy player, a championship winning player. He was a leader on and off the court. Cassell went right into coaching once he retired from playing and has been an assistant coach for over 10 years now. He’s smart, experienced, players respect him. He learned under Doc Rivers for most of his coaching career. Has coached numerous star players throughout his coaching career. He’s a former Celtics player. His day is coming and he will be a terrific head coach. He would be a great hire for the Celtics.
2. Chauncey Billups - Another former Celtics player who had a great NBA career and moved into coaching a couple years ago. He is an up and coming coach who will get a head coaching job faster than anyone imagined. He was a great leader as a player which I think will translate to coaching. He brings an edge and attitude that the Celtics could use. He will bring a defensive intensity with him. He was a winner as a player and I think he will be a winner as a coach.
3. Ime Udoka - Believe it or not, Udoka has been on my radar for a while. He was an assistant coach and head coaching candidate that I liked a year ago before the Celtics job was even open and now he seems like a realistic candidate. He’s a former player, played for the Spurs and ultimately became an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich. Is passionate about the game and has climbed through the coaching ranks to become a hot candidate this offseason. He has a high basketball IQ and a strong personality. If not for the Celtics, he will make a great head coach for someone.
4. Jamahl Mosley - Mosley is known as a great communicator, someone that can really get through to his players. He is well liked and well respected by his players. He’s a defensive minded coach which the Celtics could really use. He has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2007, very experienced. He’s due to get one of these coaching jobs and would be a solid choice by Brad Stevens.
5. Kara Lawson - If the Celtics are going to make history and hire a woman, Kara Lawson would be an excellent choice. She is a former Celtics assistant coach, current women’s head coach at Duke and a former player. All you heard about her when she was here in Boston was how smart she was, how much she understood the game. She seemed to have a great relationship with the players. My only concern would be that she was once part of Brad Stevens staff and I want some fresh blood in here but it would be historic for the Celtics to hire Lawson and I’d be on board.
6. Becky Hammon - Great coach, will likely become the first woman to become an NBA head coach. She is an experienced coach, has paid her dues to get where she is and has learned everything she knows as a coach from Gregg Popovich. A former player and a great player at that, has been around the professional game of basketball for over 20 years. Is known to have a great work ethic and will be a great head coach. Similar to Lawson, hiring Hammon would be historic and the Celtics would be the perfect franchise to once again make history with a coaching hire. If they were to hire a woman, I give Lawson the edge simply due to the Celtics familiarity with her. Although I think Hammon could be the better coach and better hire.
7. David Vanterpool - A dark horse candidate in some ways. Vanterpool hasn’t been tied to the Celtics at all, from what I’ve seen but would be solid candidate. Players love this guy, a lot of Timberwolves players spoke out when he was past over for that head coaching job. He’s known for being a good leader and teacher. He’s worked with star players such as Damian Lillard and really helped Lillard become the player he is today. He has a front office background in addition to coaching. Has interviewed for numerous head coaching jobs over the years and his time will come.
8. Charles Lee - Young promising coach, only 35 but there is a lot to like. Another great communicator, inspires and motivates players. Preparation is said to be his strength. Lacks experience but makes up for it in almost every other category. Been described as a “five tool coach”. Wouldn’t be a bad hire for Brad Stevens but would be a bit underwhelming compared to some of the names above.