Brad Stevens hasn’t exactly had the easiest transition to the NBA after signing a six-year deal to coach the Boston Celtics last summer.
The 39-year-old managed a roster that constantly changed during his rookie season, as Celtics president Danny Ainge dealt away several current players for future assets. Little has changed in year two, especially now that Ainge has traded away his best player Rajon Rondo for a collection of role players in Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder along with a future first round pick.
The roster turnover has led to plenty of losing in the midst of what will undoubtedly be a lengthy rebuilding project in Boston. Stevens isn’t exactly used to losing after building a perennial powerhouse at Butler, so understandably rumors have popped up in recent weeks that a particular struggling college powerhouse (Indiana University) could make a run at the Celtics head coach, who has ties to the region. Would Stevens even consider a return to the friendly confines of college after being dealt a tough hand with the Celtics?
In a terrific piece by Paul Flannery of SB Nation Stevens took on that speculation head-on.
“I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens told Flannery Thursday. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot. I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation. I’m the head coach of the Boston Celtics. This is the job. This is where I am. This is what I want to do really well and I’m committed to being as good as I can every single day for the Celtics.”
Stevens is a fiercely loyal and committed individual, so these comments should come as no surprise to those that know him well. He knows what he signed up for in Boston and it sounds like he’s prepared to see it through. The Celtics have a long road ahead of them in order to become a contender once again in the Eastern Conference. It appears losing their head coach along the way is one less thing team ownership and Ainge will have to worry about.