Brad Stevens has been the subject of praise by many throughout his first season as an NBA coach. Despite his losing record, an ESPN forecast poll of NBA coaches ranked him 11th.
If the whole NBA thing doesn't work out for Stevens, there isn't a single college team that won't be lining up outside his door, even with a 23-54 record. In fact, just three days ago Butler University announced that they will be awarding an honorary degree to Stevens, who finished with an incredible 166-49 record as coach. Though some tiny murmurs have arose speculating that Stevens may head back to the college game, the Celts rookie coach reiterated his commitment to bringing the Celtics back to prominence. Via the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett:
"I appreciate the fact that people would say that as a positive remark to what we did at Butler, but at the same time I haven't paid one bit of attention to it," Stevens said. "You know, my wife has said that she's really enjoyed this late March and early April from the standpoint that she said, 'I don't even know what's going on with the coaching carousel right now.' Because sometimes the rumors were so rampant that you had to squash rumors that weren't even true."
"When we signed on for this, this was our saying: 'We're going to be here. We're going to get after this. We're going to try to do this our very best.' Hopefully that's going to be good enough."
Stevens was adamant that he wants to remain in Boston through the reconstruction and that he's hungry for success.
"One of the main reasons we [moved to Boston], beyond the tradition, the history, the opportunity to coach in this city and here with the Celtics, is that they were willing to commit long term, because we knew it wasn't going to be easy. You always have aspirations that we're not going to be sitting here at (23-54), but that's the impetus to now get better and do it every single day. I don't think I've lost that, and I'm pretty excited about these last games. And hopefully, in years to come, we're better than this."
After asked directly about fulfilling his six-year contract, Stevens did not skip a beat.
"No question," he said. "Yeah, no question. The way that the contract's structured, that's the way it is, too. Now obviously, if they decide they want to go in a different direction, that changes everything. But responsibility and what I want to do is here and is with this organization and hopefully getting this organization to be the best it can be again."
Stevens did not go into the specifics of his contract structure, but couldn't help but gush about the fans.
"I've been blown away by--blown away by--the fans. Blown away. I mean, we're not a winning basketball team, and they've supported us like no tomorrow. The games have been unbelievable. The game against Chicago was so loud. It was such a great environment. I had been here for a game in the playoffs when you know it's going to be good. But to be here every night, compared to some of these place we go to, it's not even close."
Though it's difficult to be part of a losing team, Celts fans have no choice but to remain patient and enjoy Stevens' tenure. Hopefully in a few years, it'll all have been worth it, and Stevens can listen to the jungle really rock.
Austin Gill 4/07/2014 05:11:00 PM Tweet