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Wednesday, August 3, 2011
C's promote Longabardi

By Chris Forsberg | @ESPNForsberg | Email


On the same day former top assistant Lawrence Frank was formally introduced as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics wasted little time officially promoting Mike Longabardi to bench assistant.

"I'm looking forward to adding Mike to our bench," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He has been in the fold the last four years and he's more than ready for the next step."

It's not immediately clear if Longabardi will be the top assistant, but he'll nevertheless join Kevin Eastman and Armond Hill as Boston's bench staff.

Here's Longabardi's bio courtesy of the team:
Longabardi joined the Celtics prior to the start of the 2007-08 season from Houston where he had worked for the previous five seasons as an assistant coach/video coordinator, video coordinator and assistant video coordinator. The native of Brooklyn, New York has also previous coaching experience in the college ranks with Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University. He was on the coaching staff that led the Lafayette Leopards to the Patriot League title.

Last month we wrote on Longabardi as a potential candidate to shuffle up to a bench role:
So what about Longabardi? The 38-year-old's resume as a coach includes seven years as an assistant at Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University before landing a job as assistant video coordinator with the Rockets. He spent four seasons there, the final two in the role of assistant coach/video coordinator, before coming to Boston. The Brooklyn native earned the nickname "Mr. Defense" during his college playing days at Newberry College (he later transferred and graduated from Frostburg State University).

That defensive focus might make him the ideal in-house candidate to jump into the role of top assistant. There's also something to be said for maintaining familiarity with Boston set to have its third top assistant in three seasons. With Rivers agreeing to a five-year extension at the start of the offseason, a younger top assistant might mean less changeover in the coaching staff (at least for a short while).

* Forsberg's take: While it's not quite as glitzy a name as other options (Larry Brown among them), this move rewards an incredibly hard working staff member and key part of Boston's staff during the Big 3 era. What's more, it maintains the most continuity possible as Boston's bench sees a makeover for the second straight season (this after Frank replaced Tom Thibodeau as top assistant last summer).