It's official! Last Friday afternoon was the day Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics introduced their two newest acquisitions, All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
This is the second time in Danny Ainges' career where he has acquired two All-Stars in one offseason. Back in 2007 Ainge traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, later winning banner number 17 that same year.
As Brad Stevens has reiterated many times, the Celtics only have one goal, and that's to win a championship.
Brad Stevens on banners: "We all know in Boston what we’re shooting for. That’s a given. That’s what you’re playing under."
A case can be made that neither Irving or Hayward are not the Celtics biggest star in the franchise, however it's the truth. Brad Stevens, the fifth year NBA coach came into the league with zero NBA experience and many questions regarding how his coaching would translate to the NBA.
Brad Stevens left The Butler Bulldogs and took over the Celtics the year after Ainge shipped Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets and had a record of 25-57. This was the beginning of the Celtics rebuilding process, however the following year Stevens coached the Celtics to a 40-42 record claiming them the 7th seed.
Every season under Stevens, the Celtics record has improved, showing his coaching has translated to the pros, proving his doubters wrong. Starting in his college days, Stevens has always brought out the best out of his players whether it be Gordon Hayward in college or Isaiah Thomas in his stint with the Celtics.
Last season Stevens turned the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Isaiah Thomas, previously known as, "Mr. Irrelevant," into a top-five MVP candidate last season. In his career season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, 2.7 boards in 26 minutes of play.
"Coach Stevens was the first person who made me think that maybe I could get [to the NBA] someday," says @gordonhayward.
Since coming to the Celtics, Stevens has been used as a selling point in the recruiting of Horford and Hayward and to get assurances from Irving's camp that he will be open to re-signing with the Celtics in two years when his contract is up.
One attribute that Stevens has that makes him such a great coach, is his selflessness on and off the court. He always puts the team in front of himself and never takes credit for the Celtics success, which adds to the culture he is trying to build in the organization.
It might not be too far-fetched that the Celtic's biggest superstar might be the one wearing a suit on the sideline.