McCarty on C's job: 'Couldn't get any better than this'

McCarty on C's job: 'Couldn't get any better than this'
August 22, 2013, 8:30 pm
Share This Post

WALTHAM, Mass. — Walter McCarty and Rajon Rondo both share University of Kentucky ties which certainly didn't hurt his chances of landing an assistant coaching gig with the Celtics.

But when you look at McCarty's full body of work as a former NBA player and a Celtic fan favorite (even now), along with years spent both on NBA and college sidelines, it's clear that the C's are getting more than just someone to babysit their four-time all-star.

McCarty, recently hired for the final spot on rookie head coach Brad Stevens' coaching staff, spoke to the media for the first time since the C's announced they had finalized their coaching staff.

McCarty joins Ron Adams and Micah Shrewsberry as newcomers to the coaching staff. Stevens decided to keep two assistant coaching holdovers in Jamie Young and Jay Larranaga.

While news of McCarty joining the Celtics coaching staff did not surface until the past couple of days, the veteran forward said he had come to terms with the C's on the job more than a week ago.

"I always said it had to be the right situation," said McCarty, who spent one season as an assistant coach in Indiana and three years as an assistant under former Celtic coach Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville. "It couldn't get any better than this."

McCarty credits his time with Pitino as helping prepare him for this job.

"It really taught me a lot," he said. "How to prepare for opponents, how to scout games; how to teach and develop players, and how to communicate with players as well."

Still, it was that time with Pitino that actually turned out to be his first experience with Stevens, who at the time was the coach of Butler.

McCarty recalls being with Pitino at a LeBron James camp in Ohio a few years ago.

Stevens approached them and introduced himself.

He was trying to get the Bulldogs on Louisville's schedule for a future game, which actually came about in 2011 when the Cardinals won 69-53 over Butler.

McCarty was impressed with Stevens then, and was pleasantly surprised to see the same down-to-earth coach he met years ago had not changed even as he went about taking Butler to unprecedented heights while establishing himself as one of the more sought-after coaches at the college or pro level.

"He was great," McCarty said of his initial impressions of Stevens. "He's always been a brilliant mind. Best thing I like about him, is he's humble. He wants to continue to learn, everyday. He doesn't act like he knows everything. He wants to learn and make sure everybody's comfortable with everything we have going on. He's a great guy, a great mind, has a wealth of knowledge."

But so does McCarty, especially when you consider he is the only member of the Celtics' coaching staff with experience as an NBA player under his belt.

A 10-year NBA veteran, McCarty played with the New York Knicks, the Celtics, Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers prior to retiring after the 2005-2006 season.

Despite all those credentials, there was an initial thought in some circles that his hiring was in some way a means in which to appease Rondo.

"My background with the Celtics and all the things I've done this organization had a lot to do with it," said McCarty who joined the C's as a Community Relations consultant prior to the 2012-2013 season.

His relationship with Rondo as a factor?

"I know Rondo obviously, and I've seen him around here," McCarty said. "But I don't think that had much to do with it; more of my experience as a player and as a coach had a lot to do with it."