O’Brien quits Celtics
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – The Boston Celtics have called a news conference
for 6 p.m. (et) when it is expected the team will announce the resignation
of head coach Jim O’Brien.
The Boston Globe is reporting that O’Brien is resigning due to conflicts with
director of basketball operations Danny Ainge. The newspaper also reported
that assistant coach John Carroll is expected to take over as interim head
O’Brien led the Celtics to consecutive playoff berths after a six-year absence
from the postseason. He over for Rick Pitino on January 8, 2001, compiling an
overall mark of 139-119.
Boston is currently in second place in the Atlantic Division with a 22-24
record, but the roster has undergone numerous changes since Ainge’s arrival as
fixtures Antoine Walker and Eric Williams have been dealt away.
The 51-year-old O’Brien, who signed a contract extension last May, became the
Eastern Conference’s longest tenured coach when Byron Scott was fired by the
New Jersey Nets Monday. Atlanta’s Terry Stotts will now assume the role of the
longest tenured head man in the Eastern Conference.
Pitino brought O’Brien to the Celtics as an assistant coach for the 1997-98
campaign after he had spent three years as an associate coach under Pitino at
the University of Kentucky.
O’Brien served as the head coach at the University of Dayton from 1989-94 and
led the Flyers to the MCC Tournament championship in his first season at the
school. Prior to coaching at Dayton, O’Brien also served as an assistant to
Pitino with the NBA’s New York Knicks.
As a player, O’Brien was a three-year starter at Saint Joseph’s University
and led the team to an NIT appearance in 1972 and NCAA Tournament berths in
1973 and ’74.
He was selected to the Saint Joseph’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Big Five
Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Celtics finished the 2002-03 season at 44-38, before getting swept by
the Nets in the second round of the playoffs.