WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics, with entries in both the Utah Jazz and Las Vegas summer leagues next month, will split their coaching duties between assistants Jay Larranaga and Micah Shrewsberry.
Larranaga will be head coach for Boston's three-game stint in Salt Lake City, while Shrewsberry will take the baton for the duration of the Celtics' stay in Las Vegas. The reason for the split? Celtics head coach Brad Stevens doesn't want to burn out Larranaga.
"I was actually worried about [Larranaga] coaching this year because he coached last year, then he went to the Ukraine [for work with the national team], so I don’t want to burn anybody out," said Stevens. "He hasn’t had as much time maybe as the rest of us had to recharge last year. So I actually didn’t want him to do more than the first one."
The 40-year-old Larranaga, Boston's top assistant and widely regarded as a future head coach at the NBA level, has led the summer squad the past two years. Shrewsberry, 38, who served as an assistant under Stevens at Butler University before joining the Celtics from Purdue University two seasons ago, gets a chance to step a bit further into the NBA spotlight.
In recent seasons, the Celtics have typically had most of their assistants on the summer coaching staff, including assistants Walter McCarty and Jamie Young, along with much of the team's support staff.
After the grind of the NBA season and having run Boston's pre-draft workouts, Stevens decided to downshift a bit during summer league and let his assistants run the show. That will free him up a bit as the Celtics navigate the early stages of free agency.
Stevens, who will head to Africa for Basketball Without Borders camps in early August, is big on keeping his players and coaches fresh given the grind of the NBA season.