Robb: Losing Assistant Ron Adams Would Be Tough Blow for Celtics
BOSTON (CBS) – One of the biggest additions the Celtics made to their team last summer was bringing aboard veteran assistant coach Ron Adams.
Brad Stevens hired Adams, who has accumulated over 40 years of coaching experience on the college and pro level, after the Chicago Bulls cut him loose due to a rift between Adams and the team’s general manager Gar Forman. Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau was reportedly very upset about losing his top lieutenant at the time, but the Bulls’ loss was Boston’s gain last year.
Adams was widely praised amongst the Celtics players and coaching staff for his work during the 2013-14 season, including spending a considerable amount of time working with Rajon Rondo on his improved jump shot.
Now though, it appears there is a possibility that Adams’ stay in Boston may only last one season. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this weekend that Adams would be interviewing with the Golden State Warriors next week to potentially fill one of their assistant coach slots on Steve Kerr’s staff.
Adams’ looking around at other coaching positions throughout the league makes sense given Boston’s situation this summer. The Celtics are unsure right now which direction they will be going in this off-season. They could take a big step forward by acquiring a player like Kevin Love or if a major trade opportunity does not present itself, the team could take a step back in the rebuild and trade away Rajon Rondo for younger assets.
Danny Ainge surely hopes the team will be able to make a major move, but he’s not in a position to guarantee it to Adams at this stage. Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe reported Saturday that for now, Adams is doing his due diligence by hearing out the Warriors, but the lure of joining an up-and-coming has to be appealing for Adams.
At age 66, Adams is heading toward the final few years of his coaching career. As a competitor, it’s natural for him to want to be in a place where he can coach for a championship. Golden State could be that spot for him with their talented roster featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and company. If the Celtics are resigned to a young mismatched roster with no serious playoff hopes yet again next season, you can’t fault Adams for wanting to jump ship.
The good news for Ainge is that he probably has the ability to sway Adams to stay put with his off-season maneuvering. In fact, it might make the Celtics a bit more likely to make a big deal now with their treasure chest of assets if they want to have a better shot at retaining Adams. If Ainge can pair up Love or another All-Star with Rondo and put together a roster that could make some noise in the Eastern Conference for the next couple seasons, my guess is Adams would want to stay put in Boston rather than start over with a new team for third straight season.
Adams will likely take a couple weeks to make his decision on his future and by that point, Boston’s direction this offseason should become more apparent. Will Ainge have done enough by then to convince one of the NBA’s top assistant to stay? Stay tuned.
Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to NBA.com, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.
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