not surprising at all, really.
Ainge: Carroll out as Celtics' coach
By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press Writer | April 26, 2004
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics announced Monday that interim coach John Carroll, who took over a team in turmoil and guided it to the briefest of playoff appearances, will not be back as coach next season.
Under Carroll, the Celtics went 14-22 to finish the regular season 10 games below .500, but they were able to eke out the last postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. They were swept from the first round by the Indiana Pacers.
The playoff appearance was a mixed blessing for Boston and its basketball boss, Danny Ainge, who had said the team would be better off taking its chances in the draft lottery. Ainge did not attend the Celtics' first home playoff game on Friday night, choosing instead a scouting trip to Europe.
Ainge has said he is in no hurry to make a decision about a new coach.
Carroll was the head coach at Duquesne from 1989-95 and a longtime Celtics assistant who took over when Jim O'Brien resigned over philosophical differences with Ainge. Although the Celtics made the Eastern Conference finals and semifinals in the previous two years, Ainge traded star Antoine Walker and O'Brien favorites like Eric Williams and Tony Battie.
The moves netted injured big man Raef Lafrentz and the defensively challenged Ricky Davis, among others, and made it difficult for O'Brien to implement his disciplined, defensive style. O'Brien resigned on Jan. 27; the Philadelphia 76ers hired him to be their head coach last week (4/20).
Carroll took over a team that was nearly .500 and second in the Atlantic Division and lost 12 of the first 13 games. The Celtics turned things around in time to salvage a playoff spot.