In an era saturated with leaky sources and social media, the Boston Celtics dropped a massive in-house surprise on Wednesday night that absolutely nobody saw coming. A week after letting former coach Doc Rivers move off to the Los Angeles Clippers, they’ve hired 36-year old former Butler coach Brad Stevens as just the 13th head coach in the team’s post-Red Auerbach history.
Brad Stevens was lauded throughout his time at Butler for using analytics and adherence to underutilized basketball efficiency metrics to turn his mid-market school into an NCAA power, and he’ll now be tasked with leading the Celtics back to legitimacy as they begin what could be a slow and painful rebuilding plan.
"Brad and I share a lot of the same values," said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. "Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18."
Reaction was almost universally positive, in the interim between the announcement and Stevens' introduction on Thursday. Stevens doesn't have an NBA background, but most assume that his whip-smart tendencies and ability to adapt will pay off handsomely as he attempts to make a successful NCAA-to-NBA switch.
Few have pulled off such a maneuver to great success at the pro level, but Stevens' willingness to think on his feet while working at Butler could succeed fabulously on the NBA stage -- a stage featuring a Celtics team that just traded away a star in Kevin Garnett that was born the same year as the newest coach of the C's.
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