The Herald on Sunday mentioned that the Celtics have brought back Kevin Eastman as assistant coach. Not long after Clifford Ray was hired as our big man coach, Danny announced that they wouldn't be adding another assistant, which disappointed many Celtics' fans who were hoping for the addition of a defensive coach since that was a glaring weakness last season.
Not many of us remember much about Kevin Eastman who was originally hired as a Celtics' assistant on September 15, 2004. He left the Celtics to take a major position with Nike as their National Director of Skills. It isn't clear why he is returning to the ranks of assistant coach but the Herald states that the desire to be in a team atmosphere brought him back.
Kevin brings a rich history of experience at all levels to the team. Eastman is a 1978 graduate of the University of Richmond, where he played his collegiate basketball. Eastman also earned in Athletic Administration from Richmond in 1989. He began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater the University of Richmond from 1978-80. He was assistant coach for Colorado State University from 1980-83. He coached at Virginia Commonwealth from 1983-85 and he spent his second stint as an assistant coach at the University of Richmond for the 1985-86 season.
After these years as an assistant coach, Eastman served as head coach and athletic director at Belmont Abbey College from 1986-1989. He then went on to become an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa for the 1989-90 season. He then spent four seasons as head coach at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Eastman then spent five seasons from 1994-1999 as head coach at Washington State University.
He has both owned and conducted Kevin Eastman Basketball Camps since 1999 along with producing several teaching videos including Multiple Player Chair Drills, Intense Shooting Drills, and Six Keys to Quality Skills Development. He spent the 2002-03 season serving as Randolph-Macon College's Athletic Director. Eastman has also been directing Nike's Skills Academy for the nation's elite players. This is billed to offer the best in individual skill development.
Here is a quote from Doc Rivers that is posted on Eastman's site for his basketball camp.
"He's perfected the individual workout, and I think he could be a great help to our young players. Brendan Surhr had mentioned him to me, and then he was brought in to work with a team my son is on. I was watching him and I thought, "Damn, this guy is good. He should be working for the Celtics..." Doc Rivers, Head Coach, Boston Celtics
Others say that
"Kevin is one of the best at working with players to improve their skills"
"He has a tremendous grasp of X’s and O’s and loves sharing his knowledge with others. He has a passion for skill development."
Eastman will be responsible for working with the young players on their skills, shooting, footwork, and defense. He is known for helping young players develop their skills. When he was first with the Celtics, he posted his basketball drills on Celtics.com.
Hopefully, Eastman can help Doc with X's and O's during the games and will prevent Doc from making some of the colossal blunders he made last season. He will also help our players with their shooting and their fundamentals. Here is a quote from Derrenmatts over on CG about how he feels Eastman will help the team.
Ricky's pull up jumper was an automatic 2 points last season (at one long stretch, he couldn't miss) and I think it was due to Eastman's mentoring. Eastman has our players go through drills that focus on practing in real time. He has players do shooting reps at quick paces because that's how they'll be shooting during games. I would imagine most coaches would prefer their players shooting at slower paces so that they can work on getting perfect shooting mechanics, but Eastman is different in this manner.
Hopefully the addition of Eastman and Clifford Ray, both of whom bring a great deal of experience, will help the team. Danny is adding developmental coaches to help our youth reach their potential more quickly. These two assistants should help all of our players to make a leap in their development this season. We already know from summer league that Clifford Ray will be a vocal coach during games, shouting instructions to his bigs throughout the game. Hopefully Kevin Eastman can bring some much needed experience to other areas, including Doc's in game decisions