Stevens taking it slow with staff
"We’re working towards it. Again, it’s going to be a little bit of a time, and we want to make sure we do it right and get it right," Stevens said after watching the Celtics thrash the Pistons in Day 2 of the Orlando Summer League on Monday. "We do have at least a couple weeks here to play with. We've got a lot of interest, and a lot of inquiries. And I’m doing my due diligence on that."
Stevens has ideas about how to fill out a staff that will include assistants Jay Larranaga and Jamie Young, two holdovers from the Rivers' regime who are leading the summer squad.
"I think, obviously, having another couple of guys with NBA experience is a big, big deal," said Stevens. "Then, potentially, a person that is more familiar with me. And I think that is what I’m weighing and balancing, doing my research on right now. We’re going to get there, but again, I’m going to take my time. Because I think it’s more important to get it right than get it done quickly."
One familiar face that Stevens expects to have alongside him in Boston is Drew Cannon, the 23-year-old stats guru that Stevens hired as part of his staff at Butler. Cannon sat baseline with much of Boston's front office staff, including president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, assistant general manager Mike Zarren, and director of player personnel Austin Ainge, during Monday's summer league action.
Stevens said the team expects to put his favorite number cruncher into a not-yet-determined role with the Celtics.
"I think Drew is going to be -- and I don’t know exactly where everything stands -- but I definitely think he’s going to be on board in some capacity," said Stevens. "And where that is, and who he reports to, I’m not exactly sure yet."
Stevens is trying to stay out of the way of the summer staff, deferring to Larranaga on decisions related to summer personnel.
"I’m going to let him run it and I’m going to continue to be a learner," said Stevens. "He’s doing a great job and he’s a really good basketball coach. Jay and I went to dinner last night and we talked a lot about what I envision here moving forward, and some of the things that we both agree on that are really important, not only from a cultural standpoint, but also from a basketball standpoint. If I come in on the fifth day of this and want to tweak things, it throws everybody off. So, at the end of the day, I think it’s more important that, they’ve been practicing since Thursday, let’s finish this thing out well and finish it right. Let's feel good about it and a lot of that stuff they are working on is going to translate right into what we’ll do. Jay’s doing a great job and I want him to continue to do it."
Stevens watched the Celtics' morning walkthrough on Monday and talked with some of the younger players before taking in the afternoon triumph over the Pistons from the baseline at the Amway Center. He's soaking everything in.
"I’m just getting a feel for, as much as anything, some of the vocabulary and lingo that is more prevalent or more known in NBA circles, that may not have been the same in college, so that I can be up to speed when the time comes appropriately," he said. "We might be saying the same thing, and it might be two different words, and if I can make [the players'] job easier by learning the communication that’s already been used, then that’s one person having to change instead of 15. That’s one of the things I’m working on, and I’m really just sitting and listening right now. And it’s been great. These guys are doing a great job and Jay’s leading the charge."
Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, the Clippers officially announced former Boston assistants Kevin Eastman, Armond Hill, and Ty Lue will join Doc Rivers' staff.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday dishes on what Peyton Manning is like, Patriots-Ravens, the Cowboys' game management during the Packers' comeback and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski weighs in on Packers-Cowboys, the scrutiny of Tony Romo, Marc Trestman's decision to start Jay Cutler, Patriots-Dolphins, the Chiefs' offense and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter covers the criticism of Tony Romo after the Cowboys' loss to the Packers, the Giants' struggles, Tom Coughlin's future in New York, the state of the AFC and more.