Celtics Circuit: Walter McCarty Brought in as Assistant Coach
When I initially read the Boston Celtics hired Walter McCarty as an assistant coach, my immediate thought was President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge mysteriously left the organization and the Celtics replaced Ainge with television analyst Tommy Heinsohn. When McCarty played for the Celtics for seven and a half seasons (1997-2005), Heinsohn declared his love for McCarty whenever McCarty made a big shot.
McCarty joins Ron Adams, Jay Larranaga, Jamie Young, and Micah Shrewsberry as the assistant coaches. Adams was on the Chicago Bulls staff last year in the same position. Larranaga and Young are holdovers from last year. Shrewsberry has been with Stevens at Butler since 2007. After reading over McCarty’s credentials, this is a pretty good hire. McCarty already has previous experience as an assistant coach with the Louisville Cardinals and Indiana Pacers in 2010-’11 with former Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien. McCarty spent three seasons on Louisville’s sideline alongside Rick Pitino. He has coached collegiate athletes and with the Celtics in a rebuilding process, McCarty can relate to young players adjusting their lives in a professional environment. He was also a community relations consultant last year for the Celtics. This could be important in helping rookies and young veterans establish a role in the community.
During McCarty’s career with the Celtics, the Celtics were rebuilding. First, McCarty played with Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker and the Celtics went from a youthful group of stars to coming within two wins of reaching the NBA Finals in 2001-’02. He also retired in 2006, which means that he never played with anybody else on the Celtics roster.
McCarty also went to Kentucky like Rajon Rondo. According to Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe, “a league source said the Celtics were looking to add a staff member ‘who can bond with Rondo.’”The Celtics have been doing this for years and Keyon Dooling was the most recent teammate who Rondo could trust. Dooling hung up his shoes, but he decided to come back and play for the Memphis Grizzlies during last season.
If James Posey was hired, it would have looked more like a public relations move because Posey won a championship with the Celtics and he just recently retired from the NBA. Posey also played with most of the players.
The league is moving towards bringing less experienced coaches who use numbers and study film. There are some recently retired players who are moving into the coaching ranks like Jason Kidd of the Brooklyn Nets.
Celtics fans can breathe easier knowing that Ainge did not pull a disappearing act like Russell Dalrymple in “The Pilot” episode of “Seinfeld.”