Stevens' road to the NBA wasn't easy

Although acknowledging that failure at times is inevitable and necessary for personal growth. It's never easy , but it's apart of who some of the all-time greats are in the NBA. Success can feel like the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out with the attempt for perfection.

When it's all said and done you're not judged by the number of times you fail but by the number of times you succeed. Isn't that the case with this Brad Stevens story, and so many other stories? Does anyone care about Jordan losing to the Pistons? Does anyone care about Lebron choking year after year? Once you win, or maximize your talents all is forgotten when you fail.

Jackie MacMullan ESPN Boston
"Everyone says, 'Oh, Brad was destined for coaching,'" Burch said. "Honestly, it's not one of the top 10 things I thought he'd do. It's easy, in hindsight, to glamorize everything he went through.

"But it wasn't fun what happened to us at DePauw."

It certainly wasn't storybook.

The coach of the Boston Celtics wasn't a star, or "a coach on the floor," or a numbers savant. He was a reserve who averaged 5.4 points a game in his final college season, who struggled (and ultimately succeeded) in coming to grips with a reduced role.

"People want me to say Brad came to us with a basketball in one hand and a calculator in the other," said DePauw coach Bill Fenlon. "Honestly, he was just a kid trying to find his way."

Now Stevens must navigate the pitfalls of the NBA, a different beast than the insulated college bubbles of Butler and DePauw. Stevens has invested countless hours studying the pro game, a process that began years ago when former Butler stars Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack considered declaring for the NBA draft.

Their coach contacted nearly every general manager in the league for information that would assist him in forecasting his players' chances. One of those calls, to Danny Ainge, spawned a professional relationship that eventually led him to this strange new basketball world, where coaches must prove themselves to players, not the other way around.

"At the beginning of the year, there were some doubts," admitted Celtics veteran Gerald Wallace. "But Brad had a plan, and we saw some potential, so we said, 'Okay, let's try this out.'"

The "audition" of Brad Stevens is in its infancy. While his fan base implores him to follow the rules of tankology -- play hard and lose -- his players suit up every night aiming to win. The results have been mixed, but the effort from the coach has not been.

Brad's only 37 and his story isn't even half written. I think he's a proven basketball mind despite the Celtics losing 5 in a row. They're still 4-9 and better then advertised. Through the first 8 games they went 4-4, and in those 4 losses they had a lead heading into the 4th quarter. The Celtics had two rough games on this past road trip. Mainly the blowout in Houston that may have forced Stevens hand to change the starting unit.

But Stevens has remained cool and calm. He's changed the starting unit more then a few times, but he knows what he's doing. I don't have all the answers, and I can't see the future. I do think the 6 year contract has allowed Brad to breathe and to succeed with the Celtics.

Follow Shawn on Twitter- @Celticstitletow

Photo from the Boston Globe