Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed he has no plans to leave the team in his pre-game media availability.
“I said it the other day: I’m not. And I tried to say it as clearly as I could and also make sure that people understand that that place, to me, is special,” Stevens said, referencing a recent interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “Because I don’t want to make it sound like it’s not. But, like I said the other day, I’m so grateful to this organization, and to the people here, and for all that they’ve done for us.”
Brad Stevens addresses the Indiana rumors today: pic.twitter.com/0E3vsGSxFK
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 19, 2021
Stevens, who joined the Celtics in 2013 when Doc Rivers departed for the Los Angeles Clippers, has previously been tied to high-profile college coaching jobs, although most of the rumors seem to have been little more than wishful thinking on the part of the colleges.
Indiana, however, always seemed to loom large, since Stevens is from the state and got his start as a head coach at Butler. Chatter about Stevens began percolating when Indiana fired coach Archie Miller after four seasons.
On Friday, those rumors grew noisier on social media, as reporters and other Twitter users claimed to have inside information on Stevens’ imminent departure.
But Stevens reaffirmed that he plans to stay in both his pre-game comments to Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande and his comments to the media. Stevens said he wanted to emphasize that he loves Indiana and the passion for basketball he developed growing up there.
“I love coming to work every day. I love this area,” he said. “People have been great to us. My family is so happy. And, at the same time, home is home. And that’s why I wanted to make sure everybody understood that means a lot.
“But no. Just like I said on Tuesday, I’m not. So, I don’t know if I will have to answer that again on Monday, but I hope that people understand that. And people can hopefully appreciate that it still means a lot to me and I hope they hire whoever they hire and they are there for 20 years and kids feel like I did.”
And in case anyone still had doubts, Stevens offered Celtics fans (and New England residents) some red meat.
“I’m not a kid anymore,” he said. “I’m a 44-year-old Masshole. I swerve around others when I’m driving, I eat Dunkin Donuts and I root for the Patriots. I’m, unfortunately, skewed in a lot of ways, I guess.
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