Celtics’ Shane Larkin offers strong defense of Jim Larranaga
MIAMI (AP) — The Boston Celtics’ Shane Larkin is admittedly and understandably biased when it comes to Jim Larranaga, who was his coach at the University of Miami.
That being said, the guard remains firmly on Larranaga’s side.
Larkin offered an impassioned defense Saturday of Larranaga, who has said he thinks he is the “Coach-3” in court documents related to the federal investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting. Those documents detail a conversation in which two people, including an Adidas executive, allegedly discussed a request from “Coach-3″ that a recruit be paid $150,000 for a commitment.
Larranaga has denied any wrongdoing, and he has not been implicated by name by federal officials.
“Coach L is probably the most down-to-earth, stick-to-the-rules, no-cheating, no-easy-way-out guy that I’ve ever played for,” said Larkin, whose Celtics were visiting the Miami Heat on Saturday. “So all the stuff that they’re saying, there’s no way it’s true. He won’t even let his players curse at practice. I don’t want any of this stuff to tarnish his name.”
Larranaga has said he cannot discuss much in the way of specifics regarding the case, since the federal probe and a university investigation into the matter are ongoing.
“At this point in time I don’t have any answers,” Larranaga said earlier in the week at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s media day in Charlotte, North Carolina, when asked about the commission formed to study the issues plaguing the college game. “I don’t know all the circumstances and feel like it’s inappropriate because it’s an ongoing investigation.”
Larranaga is entering his seventh season at Miami. Larkin was the point guard on his best team, the 2012-13 club that went 29-7, won the ACC title and then won two games in the NCAA tournament.
Larkin turned pro after that season and has remained in regular contact since with Larranaga, whose son Jay is an assistant under Brad Stevens on the Celtics’ coaching staff.
“For people to try to come out with these type of allegations against him, I’m fully on Coach L’s side,” Larkin said. “He’s a great human, a great coach, and I know every player that’s probably ever played for him will vouch for him and say that whenever they went there, they came out a better player and a better person. He’s been a great influence on my life, to this day. Great human, great coach, great man and great father.”