Jay Larranaga Rumors
“I think role models are always really important,” Larranaga said. “And as Marcus Smart and I have worked more and more together, you start to break down all the different parts of Marcus as a person — physically, athletically, career path, all those different things.” Larranaga noticed similarities between Smart and retired seven-time All-Star Chauncey Billups. So he contacted former Celtics assistant and current Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, who is one of Billups’s closest friends, and asked if Billups might be open to meeting with Smart. Billups responded almost immediately.
“He said he was already a big fan of Marcus’s, but also thought there were things in his game he could refine, and maybe had some experience and knowledge he could pass on that would be helpful,” Larranaga said. “I just thought it was a great role model for Marcus. Even their style of play as physical guards that are really good in pick-and-rolls, really good at hitting the open man and just making all their teammates better, it just seemed to make sense.”
On the court, Billups showed Smart simple things, like new and creative ways to find openings for his shot. But Smart found Billups’s advice about preparation most useful. “Just becoming more of a professional and working smarter, and doing things to help in the long run,” Smart said. “Just getting a routine down, keeping that routine and finding what works for you. Keeping it short and sweet to get to the stuff you’re going to do in the game.”
Georgia Tech has reached out to both Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel and Boston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga, but remains in the initial stages to replace Brian Gregory, multiple sources told ESPN. Capel has yet to be interviewed by Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski, sources told ESPN.