When Danny Ainge hired 36-year-old Brad Stevens to be the head coach of the Boston Celtics, the question was how much success a college coach could have in the NBA. Many NBA analysts figured the transition would prove to be too difficult for Stevens to overcome. However, others thought his basketball mind would be perfect for the NBA. Stevens has done very well in his first season so far and has the potential to be a terrific coach. Despite the Celtics’ poor record, Stevens has gotten the most out of nothing. The roster set forth in from of him is young and lacks talent. Stevens has blended this team together and has made them better. So far, it’s been small steps in the NBA for Stevens.
Most NBA analysts are right when they say college coaches don’t do well in the NBA. Think of coaches like Rick Pitino and John Calipari. Both coaches are extremely successful in college, but both of their NBA stints were failures. However, Stevens is undoubtedly different from these two coaches. Stevens is not as egotistical as Pitino and Calipari. Therefore, Stevens isn’t self-centered, rather he cares about nothing other than the task at hand, developing and growing pieces to be part of whole much bigger than him or his players. Stevens is a humble man only interested in his team and making sure they become the best they can be.
Winning is not important to Stevens right now. In most coaches’ first year in the NBA, they are worried about the record and how it will reflect themselves. Of course, the six year contract has something to do with it, but it is clear Stevens has no interest in the record, or whether or not the team makes the playoffs. The only thing he interested in is assembling his team and making sure they get better every day. It doesn’t matter what the outcome of a game is, Stevens is only worried about the development of the players on his team. He is not afraid to bench his starters, he is not afraid to call a player out, and he is not afraid to own up to his own mistakes.
Despite not caring about wins and losses, Stevens still puts his team in position for success every game. The Celtics, more often than not, have a chance to win the games they play, no matter who they are playing. Steven’s team-oriented, defensive philosophy is easy to buy into, and it is obvious the players are on board with Mr. Stevens. He has always gotten the most out of his players. In Butler, he had teams with no superstar talent and that were vastly underrated. But his intelligence and poise led Butler to two straight national championships, a place no one thought the school would ever get to.
Stevens isn’t exactly a “sexy” name in the sports world, however, he does his job to the best of his ability. His preparation and love for the game is evident in his coaching. He has become resilient and and expects the same out of his players.
Coach Stevens is not worried about now. He is creating and developing a young nucleus in order to be successful in the future. When the time is right, Stevens will care about the wins and losses. Someday, the right roster will be in his hands and he will do great things with that roster. Stevens has a clear plan and is in the process of creating a system for the Celtics. He is currently clearing a path for future success and molding the young nucleus into eventual winners. That path is the right direction for the Celtics, and will lead them to another championship someday.