Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga reportedly ‘strong’ candidate for Hornets job

The Charlotte Hornets are casting a wide net to find a replacement for recently fired head coach Steve Clifford after yet another disappointing season for Michael Jordan’s team.

It’s not yet known who will emerge as the Hornets’ next head man. Though, this report from Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer indicates that Boston Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga could very well be the man.

“Boston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga has emerged as a strong candidate to be the next Charlotte Hornets coach,” Bonnell reported. “While the Hornets haven’t made a final choice, Larranaga, 43, is under strong consideration, a source familiar with the process confirmed.”

With new GM Mitch Kupchak running the ship, the focus here has been on candidates that bring a strong defensive approach to the game. That’s one of the reasons Charlotte has interviewed multiple San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches.

Larranaga has been an assistant with the Celtics since back in 2012. Prior to that, he worked as a head coach in what was then the NBA Developmental League. A longtime on-court star in Europe, Larranaga is the son of current Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga.

Having been born in Charlotte, this would be a homecoming of sorts for the coach.