Knicks Rumors: Celtics Assistant Jay Larranaga Interviewed for HC Opening

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2018

Boston Celtics summer league head coach Jay Larranaga directs his team during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Boston Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga reportedly joined the long list of candidates to interview for the New York Knicks' head coaching vacancy.

On Wednesday, Al Iannazzone of Newsday reported the Knicks received clearance to speak with Larranaga, the ninth prospective coach to meet or schedule an interview with the organization.

Former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson and longtime NBA guard Jerry Stackhouse are all viewed as "serious candidates" at this stage of the process, per Iannazzone.

Knicks general manager Scott Perry told reporters last week the team is searching for a coach who can restore the franchise to a successful identity:

"We're going to be looking for a coach who holds the players accountable and his coaching staff accountable. Not only a good basketball mind but a very skilled communicator. A guy who can connect very well with his players and is equally aligned with wanting to be a very strong defensive-minded team that won't only resonate with the candidate we want, but New Yorkers. The Knicks teams of yesteryear were tough-minded defensive teams who competed every night."

Larranaga joined the Celtics in 2012 after two seasons as head coach of the Erie BayHawks in the NBA D League. He's the top assistant to Brad Stevens in Boston.

The 43-year-old North Carolina native is the son of longtime collegiate coach Jim Larranaga, who leads the University of Miami. He explained what he learned from his father during a January 2017 interview with Christopher Stock of 247Sports:

"I think that's an attitude since that moment that I've always taken in that what can I do better and always look in the mirror first—that's the way he is and he's always constantly trying to improve still to this day trying to be a better coach and find new ways to help his players get better. So I always try to be like that or just constantly always trying to grow and looking in the mirror before anything else."

Before moving to the sideline, Larranaga had a 13-year playing career overseas that included stops in Greece, France, Spain and Italy.

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