Marc D’Amico has officially churned the rumor mill. The Boston Celtics‘ in-house analyst and reporter has taken to Twitter in cryptic fashion, hinting at impending news that many expect to have head coaching implications.
“If you’re a Celtics fan who loved the 2008 championship season — you’re gonna wake up to quite the treat tomorrow,” D’Amico wrote, capping off his mystifying tweet with a pair of shifty eyes emoji.
Proceeding with the expectation that his comments are related to filling the head coach vacancy left behind by Brad Stevens’ rise to team exec, one would only expect D’Amico is hinting at one former Celtics champion in particular to fill the void.
Kevin Garnett has already denounced his interest in the gig. Rumors including names such as Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins are fun, but lack any true legitimacy. So unless Rajon Rondo is ready to trade in his sneakers for a clipboard, one would think D’Amico must be talking about Sam Cassell — a perceived favorite to nail down the job.
Here’s to hoping D’Amico’s tweet isn’t gassing us up for a major letdown.
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Cassell’s Winning Pedigree, Coaching Resume & Celtics Ties
Despite a lone All-Star nod in 2004, Cassell was far from a superstar during his play days. Yet, what the former 15-year NBA veteran does brings to the table is a championship pedigree and an extensive coaching resume — albeit not as a head coach.
Cassell captured back-to-back NBA titles during his first two years in the league as a member of the Houston Rockets. Then, after a 13-year dry spell, he rode off into the sunset capturing his third championship with the Celtics in 2008. The following season he took on an unofficial assistant role under then-Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Since then, Cassell has spent 13 seasons in the coaching ranks, serving as an assistant for the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers.
While names such as Chauncey Billups and Jay Larranaga are deserving candidates for the job, it’s Cassell’s resume, both on the court and on the sidelines, that Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey believes separates him from the pack.
“Sam Cassell is another candidate with Boston ties, and he’s the leading candidate for the job, according to the odds Bertrand posted,” wrote Bailey, who ranked Cassell atop his list of potential Celtics hires. “He may not have the head coaching experience of [Lloyd] Pierce or [Jason] Kidd, but that’s an extensive history of NBA coaching on the heels of a 15-year playing career. … As someone who’s been exposed to decades of NBA basketball, under the influence of various head coaches, Cassell would bring a wealth of experience to a young Celtics roster.”
Perkins Calls on Celtics to Hire Cassell
Bailey isn’t the only one on the Cassell train. The aforementioned Kendrick Perkins also sounds sold on the idea of his former teammate taking the reins in Boston.
“Brad Stevens, if you wanna make your next move your best move, you need to go hire Sam Cassell,” Perkins recently said on Twitter. “He won the championship in Boston as a player. He’s a two-time champion as a [Houston] Rocket. He’s been a longtime assistant. He’s coached superstars. He’s played with superstars. You have two young superstars over there in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Egos are going to start getting in the way. You need someone in that locker room that these players are going to respect, that they’re going to look up to, that they’re going to soak in knowledge [from] and a guy that is going to hold them accountable. To me, it’s a clear-cut favorite that Sam Cassell should be the coach.”
For what it’s worth, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report has reported that team personnel has maintained that hiring a Black coach is a top priority for the Celtics.
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