Brad Stevens isn't concerned about his age
When you enter Celtics games at the TD Garden they hand you a free mini "program" with stats and information about the team. In my years as a season ticket holder I've always paid attention to the section which lists each player's date of birth, comparing their ages to my own. Paul Pierce was born six months after me in October of 1977, so he's been my constant frame of reference.
On opening night of the 2013-2014 season, for the first time I will likely be older than every single Celtic (newcomer Keith Bogans is now the club's elder statesman at 33). It's probably time to give up on my childhood dream of playing for the C's, and maybe start focusing on coaching. Luckily for me, I am still younger than new hire Brad Stevens; barely (born in October of 1976, Stevens, 36, is almost exactly one year older than Pierce).
The youngest head coach in the NBA does not seem the least bit worried about his proximity in age to his players. In this morning's Boston Herald, Mark Murphy shared some of Steven's thoughts on the matter:
“I got the job when I was 30 at Butler and we had five seniors, and the average age was 23. It wasn’t that much different. One of the things that was really great back then is that those guys allowed us to coach them, even though we were younger. I had an assistant (Brandon Miller) who is now the head coach at Butler who was 28. Another assistant was 31. We were all young and just trying to find our way. They let us do that, and these guys have been great. I don’t expect it to be any different now. They want to win. They want to play well. They want to do well. They’ll see how much we’re investing in them and in the process, and I don’t anticipate it to be any different. Great players teach you something every day, and it’s more important that the game tells them what to do than a coach tells them what to do. They can feel, read and understand a situation, and hopefully the coach is in a position where you’re not dictating, you’re empowering."
Similar to his stance on tanking, this is exactly what I'd expect to hear from Stevens, but at least he's saying all the right things. As a "Leadership Studies" major in college, the first thing they taught us was "leading through empowering."
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan