The NBA offseason has been full of unexpected and shocking developments already, but this one takes the cake.
The Celtics' official Twitter account, citing an official press release from the NBA, has the news:
Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has the details of Stevens' contract:
League source says Stevens getting six-year contract with Celtics.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 3, 2013
And, as CBS Sports' Doug Gottlieb so eloquently put it, the Twittersphere—much like the gameday bucket—exploded:
Brad Stevens took the Celtics job- twitter go boom— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) July 3, 2013
This is a "holy-curse-word" moment, not because Stevens doesn't deserve an NBA job, but because everyone thought he was comfy at Butler after turning down several job offers and signing a gargantuan extension through the 2021-22 season.
ESPN's Tom Haberstroh noted those don't always mean everything:
Brad Stevens recently had his Butler contract extended through 2021-22. Reason #40817 to take coach contract extensions with grain of salt.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) July 3, 2013
Stevens, of course, quickly established himself as one of the elite head coaches in the college basketball ranks after leading Butler to a 166-49 (.772) record and unbelievable back-to-back national championship appearances.
Numbers Never Lie gives us this incredible stat:
Brad Stevens' 166 wins is the D-I record for the MOST wins in a coach's first 6 seasons at a school (via @ESPNStatsInfo).— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) July 3, 2013
His ability to rack up those massive wins came from his brilliant basketball mind, rather than high-profile recruits. And that made him a perfect fit for the NBA, according to Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel:
Sophisticated X and O and little interest in recruiting muck, Brad Stevens was natural for NBA jump. Celtics smart to hire him. Class guy— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) July 3, 2013
Danny Ainge moved a coach who didn't want to be in Boston for a 1st-rounder, doesn't have to pay him $7M per, & just hired Brad Stevens. Wow— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 3, 2013
Boston has put a greater premium on analytics and coaching, and Brad Stevens had incorporated them in major way at Butler.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2013
And if you're worried about him being 36, at least he'll have some friends his age in the NBA, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Reminder about how young Brad Stevens is at 36 years old. Some notable players also born in '76: Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan & Andre Miller.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 3, 2013
Of course, as ESPN and Grantland's Bill Simmons points out, it certainly can't be worse than the last time the Celtics hired a guy from the college ranks (ahem, Rick Pitino):
Last time the Celts hired a successful college coach, he kicked things off by stealing Red Auerbach's presidency. This can't go worse.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 3, 2013
But just to be clear, Pitino and Stevens' similarities end there. The Celtics are in good hands with one of the most impressive young coaching gurus in the game.
On the college basketball side of things, CBS Sports' Matt Norlander is sad to see Stevens go:
Everyone's reacting to Stevens, saying "no downside." There is. CBB just lost one of its best coaches. Can't blame him, but bad for biz.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) July 3, 2013
Moreover, Yahoo! Sports' Brad Evans jokes that this could have a snowball effect on VCU's Shaka Smart, who just became the hottest commodity in the collegiate ranks:
So when do the Shaka Smart to the 76ers rumors begin? Guessing in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) July 3, 2013
Interested to see who Butler hires. "The Butler Way" has been successful since Barry Collier was HC. They'll be OK.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) July 3, 2013
CBS Sports' Jameson Fleming doesn't exactly see it that way:
Feel bad for Butler. Man does that screw that program.— Jameson Fleming (@JamesonFleming) July 3, 2013