Sources: Sixers to interview Jay Larranaga

Sources: Sixers to interview Jay Larranaga

July 12, 2013, 5:15 pm
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ORLANDO, Fla. -– On Friday morning the Orlando Magic’s practice facility was less crowded than earlier in the week. The 10 NBA teams participating in the Orlando Summer League were each playing their fifth and final game and many onlookers fled early. But even in the sparse crowd there was information to absorb.

Two NBA sources confirmed that the Sixers will interview Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga for their head coaching position. Larranaga just completed his first season as an assistant with Boston following two years as head coach of the NBDL’s Erie BayHawks.

This week he was the head coach of the Celtics' summer league team.

Larranaga has a number of qualities that would appeal to Sixers president and general manager Sam Hinkie. Larranaga is young, having turned 38 in January. He has head coaching experience not just in the D-league but also overseas. Larranaga spent two years coaching the Irish National team. And finally, he comes from good stock. His father, Jim, is the head basketball coach at the University of Miami.

The elder Larranaga made national news when he guided George Mason to the 2006 NCAA Final Four, a Cinderella story indeed.

The younger Larranaga had a long playing career as well. He played for his father at Bowling Green State University and then spent 12 years playing overseas in Italy, France, Spain and Greece. He also served as the captain of the Irish National team from 2001-2006.

Last summer Jay assisted Mike Fratello coaching the Ukraine National team, a team Fratello continues to guide. "Jay is great. He is smart, he has great energy and he knows how to get his point across," Fratello said over the phone.

When former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers departed for the Los Angeles Clippers he took his other assistants with him. Larranaga was the lone assistant coach on Rivers’ staff whose contract ran beyond the 2012-13 season.

There were rumors that Larranaga was in the mix to succeed Rivers in Boston before the organization hired former Butler head coach Brad Stevens.

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