Former Boston Celtics center advocates for FSU basketball great to get the Celtics head coaching job

After Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge announced his resignation Wednesday morning, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced he would leave his current position and become the new president of basketball operations. 

Once the news broke, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who played for the Celtics from 2003-2011, had this to say.


“Brad Stevens, if you want to make your next move your best move, you need to go hire Sam Cassell,” Perkins said. 

In his two years in Tallahassee (1991-93), Cassell put up a career average of 18.3 points per game. He is a part of the Florida State Hall of Fame Class of 2004. After leading the ‘Noles to an elite eight appearance in 1993, the Houston Rockets selected Cassell with the 24th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. 

During his 15-year NBA career, Cassell played for eight teams and finished with career numbers of 15.7 points, 6.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest. He appeared in the 2004 NBA All-Star game as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won three NBA championships (two with Rockets, one with Celtics). 

Once he retired in 2009, he immediately became an assistant for the Washington Wizards in the 2009-10 season. In 2014, Cassell joined the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant coach under Doc Rivers. After the 2020 season, he followed Rivers to the Philadelphia 76ers for the same position.

During the 2007-2008 season, Cassell was a teammate of Perkins on the Celtics team who went 66-16 and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. 

After seven consecutive playoff appearances, the Celtics will hope to build around All-Star forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Perkins believes Cassell is the perfect personality to lead the young tandem into the future.

“He’s coached superstars, he’s played with superstars,” Perkins said. “You have two young superstars over there in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Egos are going to start getting in the way, you need someone in that locker room that these players are going to respect, that they’re going to look up to, that they’re going to soak in knowledge and a guy that will hold them accountable. To me, it’s a clear cut favorite that Sam Cassell should be the coach.”

Furthermore, if he lands the job, Cassell becomes the first head coach in NBA history to have attended and played at Florida State. 

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