Adrian Wojanarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the scoop, with the C’s weighing Brown against internal candidates for the newly vacant top assistant position:
Despite Brown’s credentials and good relationship with Rivers, the Celtics coach is inclined to promote a well-regarded young assistant on his staff – Mike Longabardi – sources said. Nevertheless, Rivers hasn’t ruled out the idea of further discussing a spot for Brown on his bench next season.
Rivers agreed to a new five-year, $35 million contract in June, and the Celtics aren’t dying to pay for a high-profile assistant like they’ve had recently in Tom Thibodeau and Frank, sources said. And yet as one league source close to Brown said, “Larry would do this for less than the going rate.”
Rivers and Brown discussed a spot on the Celtics’ coaching staff in 2007, but Brown decided to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers as a consultant. Since the Charlotte Bobcats fired Brown in late 2010, he’s been passed over with but sparse consideration for several NBA head coaching openings – and even been turned back in his overtures for several college jobs, too.
It’s no secret how close Brown and Rivers are. Doc had this to say about Brown when he was let go by the Bobcats earlier this season:
“It’s disturbing I guess. I have a great relationship with Larry, so it’s tough. He’s a great coach. It’s a tough business, as we have learned….way too much.”
Still this could be the ultimate conundrum for Rivers entering (hopefully) what will be next season. Go old like the rest of the roster for one great basketball mind in what will likely be a one-year stint for Brown and one final title run? Even if it comes at the risk of overlooking some worthy candidates in-house? Or go young with a guy like Longabardi for both now and likely the future in probably is the safer choice? You can make a strong case either way. It’s a situation we will have more on next week, but I’d be surprised to see any resolution soon.