C's interview Larranaga, prepare for others

C's interview Larranaga, prepare for others
June 28, 2013, 1:45 pm
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BOSTON — Danny Ainge said the search for a new head coach of the Boston Celtics won't begin in earnest until next week.

But the man for the job may already be on the Celtics' payroll.

The only candidate Ainge has interviewed for the job thus far is Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga.

"Yes, we've talked with Jay," Ainge, the C's president of basketball operations, confirmed to CSNNE.com. "Jay's the only guy we would classify as being interviewed."

Ainge will get a better look at Larranaga's coaching skills this summer when he coaches the team's summer league entry in Orlando, Fla. next week.

With Doc Rivers expected to have most of his coaching staff in Boston take similar positions with him in Los Angeles, Larranaga won't be the only Celtic looking to impress Ainge this summer.

Kwame Graves-Fulgham, the C's video coordinator/assistant of basketball development, will be on the bench with Larranaga this summer.

Former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Joe Wolf who was on the staff of the Ukraine National Team with Larranaga, is expected to assist with the C's summer league team this week as well.

"This will be a good opportunity for Kwame," Ainge said. "He has wanted to help out, and give us a chance to look at Joe Wolf and give Jay a chance to be a head coach."

Larranaga spent two seasons as the head coach of the Erie BayHawks, leading them to the playoffs both seasons.

"We've watched him first in the D-League ... give him a chance, see how he interacts with players," said Ainge, who added, "but he's been great running the draft workouts. Him and Austin (Ainge, the C's director of player personnel), Austin has been organizing them and Jay has been running them and it was ... they did a wonderful job in filling in the gaps for coaching staff and for Ryan (McDonough, who left to become GM of the Phoenix Suns)."

And while Ainge has been pleased with how Larranaga has handled added responsibility this summer, he still plans to talk with other potential candidates before choosing who will become the 17th coach in franchise history.

"We've interviewed Jay," said Ainge, who added, "he's done a great job for us this year in an assistant's role. But I'm not ready to make any decisions yet without talking to some more people."