Today in Celtics history: Stevens hired, Garnett born

Today, July 3rd, 2017 is the fourth anniversary of the hire of the Boston Celtics' current head coach, Brad Stevens. 

The former Butler coach was lured away from one of the better jobs in NCAA Division I basketball by Danny Ainge after taking the program from a mediocre mid-major squad that would make an occasional appearance in the NCAA Tournament to a powerhouse of sorts, making it to the National Championship twice in back-to-back years. The hire took almost everyone by surprise, but almost immediately began paying dividends, with the strong connection he formed with the team in his first year translating to a 15-win boost the following season despite running back much the same team.

Hired in the first year of a rebuild, replacing Glen "Doc" Rivers as he decamped to the Los Angeles Clippers to avoid slogging through a long teardown, ironically ended up lapping Rivers as he overtook the team he fled to, with Stevens arriving in the Eastern Conference Finals as the top seed in the conference while the Clippers found themselves ousted in the first round once again. Stevens has thus far proved an outstanding hire, growing at the same rate as his young squad. Over four seasons, despite most of that period being a rebuild, Stevens has logged an impressive .506 regular-season record crowned by this year's Conference Finals appearance.

Today also happens to be the birthday of a certain ex-Celtic named Garnett, though you're forgiven if the headline confused you, as the Garnett in question is not Kevin (born May 19th), but Marlon, who was signed by the team as a free agent after going undrafted in 1998. He appeared in 24 games for the Celts, logging 205 total minutes and averaging 2.1 points and just under a board and assist per game before going on to a long overseas career, followed by stints as an assistant coach first with the San Antonio Spurs, and now the Phoenix Suns.

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