The fresh voice of the Celtics, new coach Brad Stevens, was introduced to the media on Friday and was quick to point out the respect he has for his new superstar point guard.
While the statement can be construed as naivety, the reality is that general manager Danny Ainge, who spent the press conference gloating about Stevens, will be listening to the desire of his new coach.
Stevens wasn’t hired in the midst of the Celtics’ remodel—he was hired after. That, coupled with his comments, reveals that Stevens believes this will be his roster moving forward. Rondo will be his point guard, unlike any talent he ever coached at Butler.
This is all new to Stevens.
There was a raw, gushing element to Stevens during his press conference. He’s young, just 36 years old, and he’s suddenly the fresh face for one of the league’s most prestigious franchises.
The well-intentioned coach isn’t being anything but his honest self. He started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Butler in 2001 before leading the school to national basketball recognition.
Suddenly, he’s being introduced as the leader of the Celtics. Of course, there is going to be a wide-eyed reaction.
Still, Stevens had the proper composure and attitude in the moment. He will be a first-year NBA coach, and there’s going to be a learning curve, which is one reason for his excessive humility.
That humbleness could be a positive sign for the Celtics in their hire. Contrary to Rick Pitino and John Calipari—great college coaches who struggled in the pros—a recent claim was made that Stevens will have the opposite approach.
A league source told Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe: "He’s the anti-[John] Calipari, the anti-[Rick] Pitino. Those guys, they think it’s about them. He’s going to learn that it’s about the players and that’s going to help."
If Friday’s press conference taught us anything, it may be exactly that: Stevens isn’t about himself. And that’s exactly how Ainge and the Celtics need it to be during the rebuilding process.
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