Sports

Walter McCarty to be Celtics assistant coach

Former Celtics forward Walter McCarty (left) is joining the team’s coaching staff.
Globe Photo/File 2004
Former Celtics forward Walter McCarty (left) is joining the team’s coaching staff.

Former Celtics forward Walter McCarty will rejoin the team as an assistant coach, a league source confirmed to the Globe.

With the addition of McCarty, a 6-foot-10-inch forward who played for the Celtics from 1997 to 2005, new head coach Brad Stevens, who has no NBA experience, gains the valuable perspective of an ex-NBA player that should help ease his transition into the league.

McCarty is also a product of the Kentucky Wildcats, as is Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. A league source had previously told the Globe that the Celtics were looking to add a staff member “who can bond with Rondo, someone he can relate to and trust.”

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McCarty spent three seasons as an assistant coach to Louisville coach Rick Pitino, a former Celtics president and coach who coached McCarty at Kentucky. McCarty also served as an assistant under former Indiana coach Jim O’Brien, who coached McCarty in Boston.

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Like Stevens, McCarty hails from Indiana. A former first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1996, McCarty was traded to Boston in 1997. He averaged a career-best 9.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first season with the Celtics in 1997-98, but he was mostly a role player with the Celtics, known for his defense, occasional corner 3-pointers and overall hustle that endeared him to Celtics fans.

Stevens, a former star coach at Butler University who at 36 is now the youngest coach in the NBA, appears to have his coaching staff with the Celtics finalized. It includes Jay Larranaga and Jamie Young, who were with the staff last season; Ron Adams, Micah Shrewsberry and McCarty, all new hires.