Brad Stevens Is the Man With the Plan
*Photo via Reuters
Despite being one of the youngest head coaches in the league, Brad Stevens is widely respected by NBA players and coaches alike. At the time of his hiring in 2013, Stevens was 36 years old—still younger than a handful of seasoned vets around the league. But Stevens’ youth in contrast to his colleagues does not equate to inexperience in the slightest.
Being a young head coach is nothing new for Stevens; to start the 2007-2008 NCAA season, he was one of the youngest coaches in Division I basketball. He achieved great success with the Butler Bulldogs, but the job opportunity to coach the most successful NBA franchise was one that was too good to pass up.
On July 3rd, 2013, Stevens signed a six year deal as head coach of the Boston Celtics. GM Danny Ainge went on record saying that the Celtics interviewed numerous coaching candidates, but Stevens was the guy they were certain they wanted. Ainge was looking for a coach that would be respected by his players and Stevens brings just that with his professionalism on and off the court.
Stevens has been a great coaching fit for a young, rebuilding Celtics team. His attention to detail has genuinely helped his players to continue to improve every facet of their game. He reflects his composed demeanor and professional characteristics onto his players, and in return, the team plays their hardest for their coach that expects nothing less.
Finishing out his second year with the C’s, Stevens led his youthful team to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs behind a fierce charge during the second half of the season. Stevens also impressively finished fourth in total votes for Coach of the Year, ahead of his predecessor on the Celtics, Doc Rivers and the infamous Gregg Popovich. (Needless to say, Pop was not fazed.)
Stevens is a vital component for the Celtics future. In just two seasons, he has elevated this squad from the 12th seed with a dismal 25-57 record, to a playoff team with a 40-42 record and confidence under their belt. His coaching professionalism and ardent work ethic coupled with the play of the Celtics up-and-coming stars will go hand-in-hand to achieve great success in the coming years.