Brad Stevens to the Celtics

Here’s the official AP release of this afternoon’s stunning turn of events.

Celtics hire Butler’s Brad Stevens as coach

AP Sports Writer

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics keep getting younger — on the coaching staff as well as the court.

Less than a week after agreeing to trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets — and 10 days after shipping coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers — the Celtics hired Butler’s Brad Stevens as their next head coach.

Stevens, 36, twice led the Bulldogs to the NCAA title game, but has no NBA experience as a player or coach.

“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said in a release. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

Stevens has spent the last six years as the coach of Butler, leading the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championship games in 2010 and ’11. He has a career winning percentage of .772 and never won fewer than 22 games in a season.

He takes over a team that is three seasons removed from an appearance in the NBA finals; the Celtics won their unprecedented 17th championship in 2008. But with Garnett and Pierce showing signs of slowing down in this year’s playoffs, when Boston was eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round, Ainge has decided to rebuild.

He allowed Rivers to take over the Clippers, extracting a first-round draft choice in return. Amid last week’s NBA draft, the Celtics and Nets agreed to a deal that would send Garnett and Pierce to Brooklyn in exchange for a package of players along with three first-round draft picks.

Now Stevens, who is younger than Garnett, will be the one to work with those players.

“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a release issued by the university. “We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis, and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together.”

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  • Keith says:

    Congrats to Coach Stevens for getting one of the top 5 coaching positions in all of sports.
    To the ‘Stevens should have Crean’s job” faction of Hoosier Nation, apparently that ship has just sailed. I sincerely recommend you dance with who brung ya from the bottom, back to prominence. Happy 4th all.

  • Chet says:

    I almost feel bad for him but they’ll give him buckets of money and, once you get into the NBA coaches fraternity, it’s just a matter of moving from one team to another.

    Congrats Brad, you grabbed the brass ring. Do you have Rick Pitino’s phone number?

  • Ron says:

    Wow. Gotta be some upset kids at Butler. Too bad but as Chet said $$$$$’s hard to beat for a young guy and family.

    I did think he would end up at IU eventually. Still may but would be way down the road. Gotta be a shock for Butler with conference change and all. Be hard to replace him.


  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Can anyone see Todd Lickliter back at Hinkle?

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    I could see Bobby Knight at Hinkle..Never happen, but wouldn’t it just be a blast?

  • Ron says:

    Comment I read somewhere….The Brad Stevens coup may over-ride the Egypt coup..

  • Chet says:

    So, Harvard, don’t I recall you making comments about Brad’s goodness and Hoosiersness and how he wouldn’t ditch a contract, leave his players, and run away to the big dollars and such or is that just my imagination?

    Bobby at Hinkle being a blast? Maybe. Do you mean because he’s kinda the opposite of Brad or what? It might be a blast or it might absolutely horrify the Butler fans. I’m pretty sure we’ll never know?

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Wow!…great coach to a great tradition. In that sense he and the Celtics really fit each other.

    Not sure where it comes out. Stevens is a ‘teacher’ of basketball, in the Bob Knight sense. Real basketball and the NBA have little to do with each other. NBA players are not the best ‘learners’ nor do the majority have the skill of ‘character’ and ‘humility’ that was so prominent in Stevens’ s Butler teams. The question will be how strongly he’ll be supported by management when the entitlement wonders challenge his sense of the ‘right way’.

    In a sense, the Celtics may have done us a favor. We are committed for the next 2-3 years. About the same time Stevens begins to figure out where he is and whether he wants to be there, we will have a much better idea of where the IU program is headed. I always thought that the Hoosiers and Stevens were a matter of ‘timing’ and hoped something would keep Stevens occupied for the paths to cross at the right moment.

    Wish him luck, really. He’s earned his stature as an admirable man, coach and teacher. Nevertheless, AD Glass, please keep his number in your cell phone’s ‘fast call’ list.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Wow…That seems to be the closest Tsao has come to


    Stevens was never my first choice. I liked Rick Majerus and Bill Carmody. I won’t take up a ton of needless blogging space to cut-and-paste and provide you proof the many posts on Basketblog where I mentioned those two names. Really liked Carmody…Just seemed like a real class act.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Majerus was (still is) one of my favorites, 5-10 years ago. His mind and vision for basketball were such a natural part of him, a second skin. Nevertheless, I was aware he had big heart issues and that did not spell B1G.

    I liked (still do)Carmody as well- an excellent bk mind- but, for whatever reason, recruiting seemed to be a challenge he could not overcome. I don’t consider recruiting ‘the’ factor as many here do. But, I don’t ignore it either. Even at “mere 3-stars”, you still have to bring in ‘talent’ that fits your system, sort of like Ryan, the Wisky coach.

    Stevens belongs at that level; coaches who can improve their team based on teaching fundamentals and intelligent vision…like RMK. Stevens has certainly shown that to us.

  • Geoff says:

    2 things… As I move over to this thread:

    1) Stevens didn’t exist when Crean got hired… So he wouldn’t have been on your list. He jumped to the top though once he made his name… So don’t be a hypocrite.

    2) I wonder what this means for Trevon Blueitt… Does he all of a sudden want to come to IU? UCLA? Do we want him if he wants to commit?

  • WaltD says:

    Congrats to Brad on becoming coach of the Celtics! I’m sure he will do a great job as coach and develop the Celtics into a winning team. But I can’t wonder at what price. I know the money is hard to turn down. But Brad always seemed to me to be a person who was grounded in his family, and loved a small collegiate family atmosphere. I can’t help wonder how he will handle living out of a suitcase, traveling from one hotel to another, and not always be able to go home at night. I think that will be his hardest adjustment. And I wish him well in handling it.

  • t says:

    20 million dollars says it all….even if things are not successful….a 3 year ride at the very least and financial gain….then he would still have a ton of opportunities.

    Maybe IU can get to the level where they can actually beat Butler.

  • southport65 says:

    There are a lot of teams who could not beat the old Butler under Stevens iU was just one of many!

  • Mariner Tom says:

    Hmmm…IU beat Stevens’ Butler team year before last, didn’t they?

  • Chet says:

    Not if they keep insisting we didn’t. That how it works. Keep saying IU couldn’t beat Stevens’ Butler teams over and over until people start to believe it.

    It’s like “our annual deficits keep getting bigger and bigger” even though, in reality, they’ve actually been cut in half and continue to shrink.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Does it really matter? No doubt Butler achieved some incredible heights under one impressive string of coaches. Between Matta, Lickliter and Stevens they set a progran that year after year became a model for outstanding college basketball and a great training ground for great coaches.

    In addition since the 1950’s (that’s as long as I go) was a fundamental stone in the tradition of a great link between unparalleled high school and college basketball. The question of the state’s great basketball tradition includes Indiana, includes Butler and includes…yes, Purdue. I’ll die a rabid Hoosier fan but I’ll always nod my respect for our two greatest adversaries; and happily cheer for the two when our team is out of the tournament.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Happily cheer for Purdue? Never.

    I tend to look at Butler, BSU, Valpo, ISU as the tiny Indiana Cinderellas that once every decade make some noise in the NCAA tournament…These small colleges have great basketball traditions and rosters primarily packed with Hoosier kids(though Valpo does shop the overseas market and is probably the most roster diverse of all the small Indiana basketball schools). It’s fun as hell to watch many of these kids that have never seen the limelight, had very little hype on national recruiting rankings list, grew out of long and storied high school programs from around the state, come up big against Goliaths in the NCAA tournament. These are not programs that are part of the new machine of college athletics..They rarely have your one-and-done talent(ISU had Larry ‘Legend’…BSU had Bonzi Wells years ago..Butler had the fortunes of a future NBA role player in Hayward, but the tales and tournament riches are far and few between)…How can you not get on board with these wonderful programs that epitomize the heart of Indiana’s great basketball history and family tree? No state in the nation can compare.

    Purdue? More of a pathetic story…The insecure child that just didn’t get the right mix of genes..Brags and brags and obnoxious to the core…Received lots of attention but forever feels abandoned of true love. Could never measure up to the successes of the Bloomigton sibling they long to be seen as belonging in the same history.

    I just hope Indiana hasn’t turned into that older brother in Silver Linings Playbook…I sorta always like IU when we we’re still a bit of a classy underdog where knowledge, roots in the solid classrooms of fundamentals, and cornfed grit plays above the perceived talent level.

  • Podunker says:

    Stevens’ move to Boston is a no brainer! If he can cash those big checks for three years, his family’s future is set. Then he can do the Calipari and Scumbag, oops I meant Petino thing, and come back to the NCAA and its highest bidding University. If he happens to win in Boston during the next three years, which he won’t, then he gets to stay and continue making huge cash. If he gets fired for not winning, which is most likely, he can attribute it to the rebuilding process the Celtics are going to go through and still come back to the NCAA. No brainer!

    He may be the best young coach in college basketball today, but he’s probably not any better than Calipari and the Scumbag (Petino) were when they made the jump. They did not win in the NBA and neither will Stevens (not because of his coaching, but because of the Celtics’ depleted/young roster). But the money is GREAT and as long as he keeps his nose clean, he’ can always come back to the college game. NO BRAINER!

    For Stevens, it was either leave Butler for another college job or it was leave Butler for the NBA. No Brainer.

  • Podunker says:

    Sorry for the spelling error. Scumbag is spelled Pitino, not Petino. My bad.

  • Mariner Tom says:

    Since when were Ball State (22,000 students) and ISU (11,000 students) “tiny” colleges, Harvard? They are both mid-sized public universities.

    Out of the schools you listed, Butler’s recent success trumps everyone else’s, and does more to validate your statement about “tiny” Indiana schools than the rest combined.

  • Geoff says:

    Fun fact of the day… Every single member of the Russian WUG team has a last name ending in V.

  • Ron says:

    Remember Chris-Chicago? Had a ‘sticky’ keyboard. Often had too many v’s.

    Many years ago working hospital in Indianapolis. Morning rounds noticed triplicate requisitions for treatments, blood work, ekg’s and etc. Threw the ‘extras’ out. Later in day catching hell for work not completed. Turned out a family from Poland (or some country around there) had an accident. All had first names at least 15 letters long, same long middle name and same last name. One letter different between the three in their first name. I of course thought all the orders were for the same patient.

    (Believe that was when hospital felt maybe I should be a manager – not direct patient care. Have many more stories about my growth to ‘management’. Such as a catheter to the bladder and a machine with sticky wheels. Just think ‘ouch’..)

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Just read some articles about Stevens and his background. Impressive. A math major who workde at Eli Lilly before deciding to return to coaching. He, apparently, used his background in statistics to analyze opponents, both team-wise and individually and was not afraid to test himself in the same way. Says a lot about the man in a profession that, like all others, are just now beginning to understand mathematics is nothing but an analytical language that facilitates examination. Not sure how that will work out in the pros, but following him should be fun.

    One conclusion: the best coaches are the best students of the game. not all need to be mathematicians, but do have to have a strong intuitive understanding of logic and a methodology to incorporate reason and analysis in their coaching. They also have to communicate the value of that preparation to their players; and the players have to buy into it.

    That would be particularly true for game-coaching, ‘seeing’ on-floor situations, understanding them, understanding your own players, at least as much as the opponent’s; and ‘adjusting’ and intervening in the opponents tendencies, especially late in a game.

    I went back and re-read the accounts and then re-viewed the last fifteen minutes of our loss to Butler. If you like to watch coaching and want to understand what preparation is, it is really worth doing. I had forgotten we got beat when Stevens did not do what we expected and Butler left us sucking our thumbs.

    (I just reread this and can anticipate someone taking it the wrong way. This is not a critique of our own coaching or of our team as a whole. It is just my thoughts about Stevens and coaches (or professionals with similar qualities in any field)..

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Chet- just read your post #16. Could you explain your last paragraph (about deficits) to me? Thanks.

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