Did Stevens consider coaching Celtics after Udoka suspension? Here's his answer originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics needed to determine who would be the team's next head coach after they made the decision to suspend Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season, and they didn't lack qualified candidates internally.
The obvious one is Brad Stevens, who enjoyed tremendous success as the team's head coach from 2013-14 through 2020-21. Stevens moved into the president of basketball operations role in 2021 and hired Udoka to replace him.
The Celtics ultimately decided to promote assistant coach Joe Mazzula to interim head coach for the upcoming season.
Did Stevens consider becoming the head coach again, even on an interim basis, in the wake of Udoka's suspension?
"Joe is the best choice to do that, by a long shot," Stevens said Friday morning at a team press conference. "As you go through the whole process, it all hits you, but I think that we have the best people in place to do that, and Joe is the best person to do that in our organization."
Stevens was asked if he doesn't like the results of the coaching staff during the season, would he take over on the bench?
"Absolutely not," Stevens said emphatically.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, who also spoke at the press conference, did admit he had a "brief" conversation with Stevens about the possibility of a return to coaching.
Stevens made it clear, though, that he has the utmost confidence in Mazzula's ability to do the job well.
"I think the other part of it is -- there are a lot of factors in play of why I wouldn't necessarily even want to do that," Stevens said. "I've told Joe this, I'm going to be there for him without stepping on his toes, as much as he needs. He doesn't need much. I believe in that, strongly. Hopefully I can answer any questions he might have as he goes through it. Sometimes you just need someone who's been there next to you and talk about what you're going through. Hopefully I can be that for him."
Stevens also said there "may" be an addition to the coaching staff at some point, but that the current group "checks a lot of boxes".