The appointment of Brad Stevens signifies the next big step for the Boston Celtics
The TD Garden, home to the Boston Celtics, still harks back to the reminiscence of the franchise’s historic NBA win in 2008. The team was in its prime as the likes of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul “The Truth” Pierce took the rest of the NBA by storm.
Today, the ‘Big Three’, as they were affectionately nicknamed by the city, ply their trades elsewhere. In a span of two years – and what was to be a final shot for them at another NBA title – the franchise has traded its entire core that brought home the elusive 17th NBA Championship.
Eyebrows were raised when Danny Ainge, the Celtics General Manager, lined one trade after another. He first let go of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat in 2012. To follow that, Coach Doc Rivers left this summer to pursue a glitzier opportunity at the Los Angeles Clippers, while the duo of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pearce traded jerseys with the Brooklyn Nets.
Reports have begun to surface that the Celtics might let go off Rajon Rondo as well. While debates still ensue if the team can recuperate without their All-Star point guard, there is a halcyon that the Celtics are building a whole new unit.
After witnessing Rivers sign a contract to govern another team’s roster, the Celtics decided to sign an unheralded NBA coaching talent by the name of Brad Stevens; an unexpected choice. On other hand, irrespective of the criticism, we can level at the Celtics management; the hiring of Stevens is a decision that was astutely made.
Stevens, the outgoing Butler University coach, is a proven candidate amongst college ranks. He led his team to two consecutive NCAA finals. By no means should Stevens be remarked as a poor choice to coach an NBA team. He may not have been the favourite to take on the hot seat at Boston but he sure does have the right stature to exemplify.
Stevens, now 36, has 166 wins in the NCAA as a head coach at an average of 28 wins per season. If he were to continue winning at that rate, he would have eclipsed Mike Krzyzewski’s record that stands at 957. Although it might be a lot to expect the Indiana native to surmount the feat achieved by Coach K (college game’s greatest and best active coach), he indubitably has the potential to.
His strength lies within transforming a mediocre group of young guys to phenomenal draft picks. Stevens also adheres to strong coach-player relationships and many who played under him, described him as a fatherly figure. He could be just 36 but given his repertoire, Stevens in many ways, was what the Celtics needed.
Critics could pan out the hire of Stevens as a poor decision, relating him with the dilemma that the Celtics suffered when they last brought in someone from college. Any coach emerging from the college sector to employ his skills at Boston is inevitably compared to the debacle of Rick Pitino – Celtics’ coach from 97-01.