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Assistant Coach Clifford Ray Leaving The Team?

Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe tweeted the news earlier this afternoon: (h/t Redsarmy

Word is that Clifford Ray won’t be back on the Celtics bench this coming season.

Benbow continues to investigate the reason for the departure. After top lieutenant Tom Thibodeau left for Chicago earlier this summer, Ray leaving the bench would come as a tough blow to the squad.

Leon Powe, Al Jefferson, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins are just some of the players that have progressed admirably under Ray’s tutelage since he joined the C’s bench back in May 2006.

His work with Jefferson specifically helped the C’s power forward to double his point and rebounding output in 2006-07, turning him into a big enough trade chip to convince Kevin McHale to take him as the centerpiece of a deal for Kevin Garnett.

Count this as another challenge for Doc Rivers heading into next season.

  • James Patrick

    Any reason given?

  • KC

    Oh my, oh my. This news doesn’t bode well for the team, especially Perkins. He has come far in the last few seasons learning from Ray.

  • phono

    Im not sure this is gonna be that big a blow to the team. Perk and Baby have learned just about all they can from the guy. Shaq and JO are older than dirt, and aren’t going to be taught anything new. Still, it’s gonna be sad to not see Cliff lurking behind the bench.

  • ego roots

    Nooooooo… not this time, now right now… just when they need his expertise with Erden… I mean, they can always split up after Doc, KG, Ray, PP, Shaq etc are going their separate ways after 2 years…

  • fred
  • Jim Cravens

    I credit Perkins’ and Jefferson’s NBA skill development to Ray. Think of all the straight from high school big guys who turned into duds. Phono is probably right that Perk is there already. If Ray is gone we should throw him a hell of a going away party.

  • Mark from Boston

    Not that big of a deal… We should be more worried about the defense with Tom Thidodeau now gone. Is Clifford Ray actually going to “improve” either O’Neil? or KG? or Perk (anymore than he has)? I don’t think so.

  • bobo

    My take on CLifford is a bit different from most on here.This past season i saw a regression in Kendrick Perkins development.I don’t know exactly if its due to Ray has taken him as far as he can or if its Perk in need of a fresh teacher.Sometimes people need someone fresh to take them to a higher level.When i think back to Ray as a player,his game was similar to Perk’s in many ways.Maybe they need someone with fresh ideas and with some things that Ray might not have to offer as a teacher…im not taking anything away from what Clifford has brought to the team but maybe its time for change.

  • http://www.yahoo.com martin

    this is scary—celtics dismantling from within and no Carmelo

  • tanat-0s

    “Is Clifford Ray actually going to “improve” either O’Neil? or KG? or Perk (anymore than he has)? I don’t think so.”

    What about Semih Erden?

    Spin it all you want, but losing Cliff is going to hurt. He’s a very good bigman’s coach.

  • http://Goggle Sari Williams

    Great teacher, and classy on the Court, but like Byrd, not very classy off the court. Multiple women, and one child who lives with his mother. Ray spends money and time with married women, and little time and less money on his child. Could this be why he wasn’t so great this past year? It’s always the children who pay, isn’t it?

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