There are a lot of things that I expected to hear around 6pm on a Wednesday evening.
From my wife – “Dinner Time”.
From ESPN – “Dwight Howard blah, blah blah”
From AM Radio – “There is a traffic jam on I-….”
From Butler University – “Brad Stevens is going to coach the Celtics.”
What was that last one? Brad Stevens is going to coach the Celtics?
In ten million years I wouldn’t have expected that to be my pre-dinner appetizer on any day of the week in the next ten years, but I heard it. It’s not April 1st.
Stevens jumps the Bulldog ship after 13 years and a 166-49 record that saw him guide the up-and-coming Butler Bulldogs to two NCAA Final Fours. He spurned jobs at big name college programs and garnered the respect of everyone trying to build a great program where he was, at Butler.
The most puzzling thing about this move is the fact that Stevens has no NBA experience at all. He has never been an assistant or a scout or a ball boy. I’m sure he has attended a few games but outside of that he has no known prior experience.
This is going to be an experiment akin to Moses Malone or Kevin Garnett.
Can the NBA bring the brightest young talent from the NCAA coaching ranks to the NBA with no prior NBA experience?
If you are Brad Stevens, and an NBA job is what you are looking for, this is a great situation. You inherit a team that’s cupboard isn’t completely bare but it in rebuilding. The Celtics just traded their wily veterans for some role players and minor stars to help the rebuilding process. You have a year to prove yourself and learn the NBA game prior to another great free agent class.
It’s a win-win for Brad Stevens. He gets put into the only opportunity that a young college coach would consider but if it fails he is still young enough to come back to college and build his legacy.
It’s hard to predict who wins this deal. We know for sure that Butler loses and so does college basketball as one of the great ones has moved to a new league.