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Brad Stevens to the Celtics
July 7, 2013 - Al Stephenson
When I watched Butler's run to two consecutive NCAA basketball title games, I was mesmerized by their youthful head coach. Brad Stevens looked scholarly and very unflappable as he walked the sidelines. Though the Bulldogs came up short in each game, I was very much impressed with their head coach.
There were two things that I really liked about Stevens. First was his demeanor on the court. He was so much in control of his emotions and the game itself that you had to be impressed. He did not shout and scream at his players or the referees as many coaches do. I found myself thinking that this guy is something special.
The second thing I liked about the man came after his successes at the mid major school and that was his insistence on turning down offers to move to a higher paying job at a much larger and presumably more well-stocked college. UCLA came calling, among others, and each time Stevens politely refused. He was from Indiana, he loved Butler and he had no desire to chase the riches at a bigger school.
Well, I still have his demeanor to like!
Stevens was named the head coach of the Boston Celtics this week. He is going to become ridiculously rich and one can't blame him for taking the offer. If you saw his interview after the announcement, you once again had to like his demeanor. He didn't have a game plan when he came into the college coaching ranks. For his teams - yes. For himself - not really. He had no desire to chase a dream job because he never had a plan to move up. He was actually very happy at Butler.
But this was the Boston Celtics that called. One of the most storied franchises in all of sport. He had to listen and he had to say yes. We will see if his demeanor holds up with the publicity and pressure of his new job.
The view from my seat suggests that Brad Stevens will not be very successful at Boston. At least not to start anyway. The Celts are rebuilding and it will be a few years before the cupboard gets restocked. Then we will see if Stevens is the coach that most people think he is.
I hope for his sake that he wins with the Celtics. His demeanor will not likely change and that I like very much.
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