Danny Ainge had long targeted Brad Stevens

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About a week before the Celtics announced the stunning hire of 36-year-old Brad Stevens as their new head coach, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge interviewed Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga for the position.

It was clear before that interview, though, that Larranaga, who had just completed his first season with the Celtics, was being seriously considered for the role of becoming the team’s next head coach, its successor to Doc Rivers, who had left the Celtics after nine seasons to join the Los Angeles Clippers.

Not only had Larranaga been placed in charge of their pre-draft workouts, but he was also receiving an audition of sorts as the head coach of their summer league team, which started practicing Thursday and opens play Sunday against the Magic at the Amway Center.

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