July 04, 2013

Celtics Hire Brad Stevens as Head Coach: The Boston Celtics announced today that they have come to an agreement with Brad Stevens to be the 17th head coach of the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 08:08 AM - 5 comments

Excellent College coach.

In College coaching is recruiting players you like and designing game plans around them. There are lots of pieces to select from and you can pass on those that don't fit. If you select a piece that isn't performing you can sit that piece until it comes around.

In the NBA coaching is working with the pieces you have. Managing egos. You cannot sit a star player as part of a coaching strategy. Even though the players performance decide the outcome of the games you as a coach cannot make adjustments to the player's approach unless they are receptive. In most cases the coach needs to adjust to deal with the player and not the other way around.

Rick Pitino is one of the greatest college coaches who ever lived. He's been tremendously successful at each and every stop. He was considered a bust in the NBA. Jerry Tarkanian brought a pro style game to the college ranks but didn't last 30 games in the NBA. He's a HOF coach.

Remains to be seen how Stevens works out in Boston. Expectations are low as the Celtics will be rebuilding for the next 5 years, but ....

posted by cixelsyd at 10:04 AM on July 04

I hope Stevens has a better experience with the deconstructed Celtics than Tim Floyd did with the post-Jordan Bulls.

Pitino actually did well as a pro coach with the Knicks. However, he wasn't picking the players - Al Bianchi was.

If Pitino had stayed in NY, continued to have success, and outlasted Bianchi, what happened to him with the Celtics could well have happened to him with the Knicks.

posted by beaverboard at 11:53 AM on July 04

One analysis of Stevens is that he is not the emotional sideline screamer in the mold of a Pitino or a Calipari. He is quiet, is able to create a good game plan, and able to adjust his plans on the fly as the game situation dictates. How this would translate to an NBA team of veteran players is open to question, but consider that the Celtics will be a team of very young players within a couple of years. The rack of basketballs (Wallace et al) they picked up from Brooklyn will be gone via trade or buyout. Current veterans (Bass, Lee) may be shipped out. Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo could be the only veterans left on the roster by the start of the 2014-2015 season. Even the latter 2 might be moved if the right deal comes along. The Celtics intend to rebuild through the draft, having 9 1st-round picks over the next 5 drafts. While they might have a lottery pick in the next 1 or 2 drafts, they do not seem to be depending on that. Rather, if they get 4 or 5 good players out of the next 9 picks, they will have built a competitive team, should have a pretty low salary structure, and will be able to land the 1 or 2 free agents that will make the difference.

Supposedly, Stevens is signed for 6 years, so it does not appear that he is the sacrificial lamb to guide the team to a lottery finish and be jettisoned. For Stevens, even if it does not work out, he can go back to the college ranks with an upgraded resume. For the Celtics, if necessary, Stevens can be bought out fairly cheaply and a more experienced coach hired. Overall, for the short run it looks like a win-win situation.

posted by Howard_T at 02:52 PM on July 04

I think the only sure fire "win" here is the Boston sports media. Assuming Rondo stays, his relationship with Stevens will take place in a spotlight tracking their every move. It's already being set up. The headline in the Globe today was "Rondo has 'open mind' on Stevens". This of course was from a "reliable source" not a direct quote. As noted above, the star player culture of the NBA is deep.

posted by jeremias at 07:51 AM on July 05

Stevens just seemed like the perfect small-college coach. Going from the "all-for-one" attitude players seemed to exude with his program there to the ridiculous me-me-me outlook many NBA players have could prove difficult.

posted by dyams at 08:43 AM on July 05

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