Over the past four years, Brad Stevens has turned down some of the highest coaching jobs in college basketball. At some point, we figured he’d make the leap to a major program, but that never happened. Now we know why.
In a move that was shrouded in secrecy, Butler University announced that Stevens has made the leap from a high mid-major to one of the NBA's two most storied franchises. At 36, Stevens is a year younger than former All-Stars Kevin Garnett and a year older than Paul Pierce, but neither of them are still Celtics.
Stevens is going to have a roster that’s young and not very talented. He'll lose more games this season in Boston than he did in his entire collegiate head-coaching career. On the other hand, this may signal the end of Rajon Rondo’s time rocking a shamrock on his chest. Rondo is notoriously one of the most difficult personalities in the league to coach. Doc Rivers couldn’t even get a handle on Rondo while Stevens has never played or even coached in any capacity at the NBA level. If Rivers and Ray Allen couldn't get respect from Rondo, does Stevens even have a chance?
Rondo aside, fans hope Stevens is more like Rivers than Rick Pitino, though. If Stevens is anything like Rivers, Danny Ainge should be working out a deal for Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack by Friday. In 1996, they tapped Kentucky's Pitino to lead their tanking operation. Unfortunately, the Celtics didn't win the Duncan lottery and Pitino's regime quickly crumbled. Stevens makes Garnett and Pierce's new coach, Jason Kidd look like Lenny Wilkins.
Details about Stevens' deal have not been disclosed yet, but Patrick Ewing and his son must be P.O.'d.