Photo of Brad Stevens courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Brad Stevens takes an even-keeled approach to having six of his current Boston Celtics players competing in the FIBA World Cup Tournament. He has stated multiple times that it is great experience for the guys even though folks like to point out the negatives. But no one would hold it against Brad if he was a bit concerned after watching Jayson Tatum take a spill on the court that required him to be helped off the floor.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe caught up with Stevens shortly after the USA/Turkey game today to discuss Tatum's injury. Brad seemed like his normal self and smirked with his poker face as he answered questions.
Although we're not sure how bad the Tatum injury is, it certainly didn't look good initially. Tatum has since texted Stevens and said that the injury doesn't seem serious. The ankle will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
About 20 minutes after his ankle injury, Jayson Tatum texted Brad Stevens, who is in Boston, and told him the injury didn't appear to be serious. #Celtics#TeamUSA
With this injury and Marcus Smart managing a leg injury from earlier in camp, Brad reiterates that he has no regrets with the guys playing in the tournament. He points out that if they weren't playing in the tournament and were back home that they'd be playing 5-on-5 elsewhere. He insinuates that potential for injury in those situations as well.
Brad is correct. We don't have to look far to remember that DeMarcus Cousins suffered his latest season-ending injury playing in a pick-up game. An injury can happen anywhere. You can't put these guys in bubble wrap, but I'm hoping we've seen the last of Tatum until Celtics camp. No need to push it now unless he's 100% healthy.
A devastating injury before the season starts would put a halt on the high expectations, but we know Brad will take it in stride and keep working. Even if his stomach dropped watching Tatum hobbling around, Brad will keep that steady approach into the season.