For the second-straight year, Brad Stevens spent a portion of the Boston Celtics’ All-Star break in Fort Myers. The head coach and his family stopped by Red Sox spring training for a welcome dose of sunshine and the opportunity to pick manager Alex Cora’s brain.
“Anytime you get a chance to get away, I think it gives you good perspective,” Stevens told reporters Sunday. “And then, when you get a chance to come here and you’re around that championship vibe — in 80-degree weather — life just feels a little bit better. I don’t know, maybe everything is a little easier with Vitamin D.”
Stevens noted his mother lives in the area, so the coach again seized the chance to study another Boston sports team while the rest of the NBA world, including his players Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum, is focused on Charlotte.
“I could sit and listen to Alex Cora give a thesis on coaching and Tony La Russa give a thesis on coaching from two different generations all day long,” Stevens said. “It’s special to get a chance to pick the brains of all of them.
“One of the great benefits, I guess, of being the Celtics’ coach is you can get a chance to meet those people and learn a great deal from them and I just try to, whether it’s those guys or [Bill] Belichick or Bruce [Cassidy], or whoever, we’re really blessed to have a lot of people to pick the minds of in Boston.”
Stevens reveled in learning from the Red Sox, especially as they bask in the glow of their recent World Series championship. He noticed a special vibe in Fort Myers last spring, and Boston fans will be glad to know he felt the same this time around.
“I think you get so much more out of talking to people who are in the same line of work but a different spot because I think you’re all dealing with the same things on a day to day basis, the challenges of team, the challenge of being the best that you can be,” Stevens said. “These guys are amazing at it. You could sense it last year when we were here that it was just a unique feel and had a special vibe about it, and it feels the same this year.”
At the end of the media scrum, Stevens joked that he had been trying to take the crowd away from Cora, motioning for the Red Sox manager to run as the reporters swarmed in his direction.