Brad Stevens really loves 'Ms. Pac-Man,' you guys

Brad Stevens’ body is at a post-game news conference … but his mind is elsewhere. (Getty/BDL Illustration)
Brad Stevens’ body is at a post-game news conference … but his mind is elsewhere. (Getty/BDL Illustration)

Some NBA head coaches — your Toms Thibodeau, your Stans Van Gundy — tend to get explosive on the sidelines while they’re running their teams. Others, though, typically crank the volume down and keep their emotions close to the vest, preferring a quieter approach to handling their business. Brad Stevens belongs squarely in the latter camp.

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Stevens has picked up less than a handful of technical fouls in his four years on the Boston Celtics’ bench, and is generally the kind of guy who, after getting ejected from a game, stops to make sure the opposing head coach sees him saying, “Good job,” before hitting the showers. To what can we attribute the coach’s calm demeanor? A lot of things, probably, but on this particular day, I’m choosing to go with, “He plays ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ every day.”

No, seriously. The former Butler University head coach said so himself during a recent keynote speech at the Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville, Indiana’s “Be Great Breakfast,” according to Andy Brown of the Indianapolis Star:

“I don’t focus well angry,” Stevens said. “One of the things I said [to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell] was, ‘I don’t do well mad, I don’t want to be mad at every practice, I don’t want to be mad at every game, it’s not an enjoyable way to live.'”

Among other miscellaneous interesting nuggets, Stevens revealed that “Ms. Pac-Man,” of all things, is a staple of his game-day rituals. He said his wife, who was in attendance along with his parents and children, bought him an old “pizza parlor machine” a few years ago, and he has been hooked ever since.

“I play ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ for 10 to 15 games as a break between video,” Stevens said. “And then I go on my jog, and go about my daily routine, but I make sure to get my ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ game in at home every single day. 10-15 minutes [of video games] isn’t that bad, tell your parents you’re good.”

Personally, if I had the wherewithal to cop an arcade cabinet — to say nothing of the space in my two-bedroom apartment in which to keep it — I think I might go with “WWF WrestleFest.” (Or maybe the four-player “X-Men” game. Or, duh, “NBA Jam Tournament Edition.”) But then, I’d get so caught up in trying to pin everyone with Perfect-Plexes that I’d forget all about studying the video for the next night’s opponent. A truly classic home-gaming screw-up, to be sure, but one that would lead to my unceremonious firing on the eve of our big game against Legion of Doom University. That is, I think it’s fair to say, the only reason that I am not an NBA head coach.

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No, the revelation that Brad Stevens is America’s No. 1 “Ms. Pac-Man” Gamer Boi probably isn’t going to earn him too many cool points in an NBA community that tends to skew more toward “2K,” “FIFA” and “Call of Duty.” But it does put the Celtics coach in some good company among MP-M appreciators. Take it away, Johnny Blue Jeans:

Thank you, as always, for choosing Ball Don’t Lie, where we promise to include a clip from the late-1990s Comedy Central program “Viva Variety” in every 1,000 blog posts.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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