COMMENTARY | We can now add "classy" to the string of adjectives that define the youngest coach in the NBA, the Boston Celtics' Brad Stevens.
According to reporter Peter Vecsey and former Celtics guard Kenny Anderson, Stevens recently sent a letter to all former Boston players in order to welcome them to spend time with the current team at home or away games and to participate in practices.
The letter by head coach Stevens is another good move in a long line of early public-relations successes, the most notable of which was his handling of difficult questions about All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo at Stevens' introductory press conference. Despite being only 38 years old without any NBA coaching experience, Brad Stevens is performing thus far like a polished veteran.
Moves like this one are incredibly important for a young coach. Respected former Celtics players who do end up contributing in practices and appearing at preseason and regular-season games will establish a culture of tradition and pride in an organization that is about to go through some pretty tough times relative to the high degree of success the Celtics have experienced in the last half-decade.
Additionally, if former players give their stamp of approval for the new coach, that could rub off on the rest of the team and make the transition from life under Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to life under the control of Stevens as smooth as possible.
In the NBA, players value a respectful attitude above virtually every other quality in a coach, which is precisely why Doc Rivers was so successful in Boston prior to shipping off to Los Angeles to coach the Clippers. For Stevens, this is especially important due to his lack of playing experience or time in an NBA organization. If he can continue to make smart moves like this one, there is a good chance Celtics players will be willing to buy into Stevens' system and coaching staff, which is nearly completely different from the one that existed under Rivers.
With that said, it's easy to make coaching decisions when the choices don't translate into wins or losses on the court. The real test for Stevens will come when the season starts and the Celtics go through their first bad stretch in new offensive and defensive systems established by a brand new coaching staff. Until then, Celtics fans should rejoice in Danny Ainge's choice for head coach, a man who seems to know how to press all the right buttons and say all the right things.
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Justin Haskins is a New England native and journalism student at Regent University. He has been obsessively following Boston professional sports for 10 years and has been published in numerous online publications and websites.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brad Stevens
- Boston Celtics