As the Boston Celtics continue its search for what will be the franchise’s 18th appointed head coach, one Boston legend has handpicked two of his favorite candidates ahead of the president of basketball operations Brad Stevens’ critical offseason decision.
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Two-time champion, 1981 NBA Finals MVP, and current Celtics radio commentator Cedric Maxwell, in an exclusive interview with Jay King of The Athletic, named two candidates he would love to see the Celtics hire, and is pleading for the front office to elect a person of color.
Cedric Maxwell Calls for Celtics to Hire Person Of Color: ‘It’s Important’
Maxwell believes it’s a move that would go a long way for the Celtics, especially if Stevens ultimately decides to hire a former NBA player.
“I think it’s important because if you look at the Celtics front office, if you look at most of those people who are there, who have been in the front office, ownership, everything else, those people aren’t of color,” said Maxwell, via Jay King of The Athletic. “So I think it would help the players if they found somebody who they can relate to maybe a little bit more. So that’s why I think it’s very important.”
Historically, Boston was progressively ahead of its time when Celtics general manager Red Auerbach stepped down as head coach and elected star center Bill Russell to become the NBA’s first black head coach in 1965. It was a move unprecedented at the time.
“I would love to have more diversity in the front office,” Maxwell said, via The Athletic. “I’ve said that a thousand times about the Celtics. I think that would definitely help make them a little more relatable maybe to potential free agents, having people of color in the front office.”
Cedric Maxwell’s Favorite Celtics Coaching Candidates
As for candidates, Maxwell named five-time All-Star, 2004 NBA Finals MVP, and current Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups. He also mentioned former 17-year pro, and former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson as another ideal candidate for Stevens’ vacant head coaching seat, according to The Athletic.
“I like this about Chauncey, the fact that he was with the Celtics initially, then he was kind of cast around,” Maxwell said, per The Athletic. “So he was a guy who has seen the top and seen the bottom. That to me is even more important. So I think he could relate to younger players who are struggling, but he also can relate to a player like Jayson Tatum who is playing really well.”
As for Stevens settling into his new position as head of the Celtics front office, Cedric can’t think of a better person for the job than the guy who’s spent the past seven seasons with the team. And picking Brad’s successor will be very important.
“I don’t think anything was missing with Brad,” Maxwell said, per The Athletic. “I just think now everybody thinks it’s time for another voice. A voice gets tired after a while, so a new direction, a new following. And I happen to like the fact that Brad is being the head of basketball operations because who would know better about the weaknesses and strengths of this team than the guy who’s seen this team almost every day.”