The new head coach of the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, recently sat down for a one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet New England. In the 13-minute interview, CSNNE's Kyle Draper asked Stevens about a number of topics, including his process-orientated philosophy, the adjustment to the NBA, and the current roster. Stevens, as you would expect, was articulate in all of his responses.
I was glad Kyle Draper asked Brad Stevens about how his philosophy of "the process" potentially contrasts Celtics fan's mantra of "it's all about 18." Stevens said, "When you look at it realistically, there is no question that you want to win Banner 18. That is the thing that you dream about every single day, but it's not just about what you want, it's about what you do every day. You don't get the chance to get those things if you show up occasionally."
Stevens is right, and that is one of the reasons why I'm sold on his potential as a coach in the NBA. Last season Doc Rivers put a spotlight on an empty spot for a banner and even said something along the lines of, "we only need to get through Miami, so we are only preparing for them in practices." While this all sounded good and motivational to me, I thought it was fairly shortsighted. There is much more that needs to be done in order to win an NBA title.
I personally tend to follow a more Bill Belichick style of approach when it comes to sports (and life), which is something Brad Stevens clearly does too. That is, you take things day-by-day, you must focus on what you are doing now in order to succeed later. In Boston's case, worrying about the playoffs in April only distracts them from the work that must be done in October in order to prepare for the long season.
As Brad Stevens eloquently put it when asked about his expectations, "My expectations are simple right now. It's simple to say, but hard to do. Embrace the process of growth. Every single day we need to get better and we need to be able to build."
Speaking about long processes, star point guard Rajon Rondo is still rehabbing from his torn-ACL. Stevens wasn't able to shed any light on potential return date, but he did say Rondo is working extremely hard to get back, "He's doing everything he can to get back as quickly as he can. He's been really diligent and great to have around"
More interestingly, Stevens was asked about the possibility of starting the year without Rajon Rondo. He said when the time comes there are a number of options. Either the team can play a style as if they had Rondo, using other players in that exact role. Or they can play maximize the abilities of the players actually on the court. In that case, they would then have to adjust to Rondo midstream.
Before Rondo gets back, Stevens says he must make adjustments of his own. He says that the eight exhibition games will be extremely important for him so he can adjust to the 48-minute game, the timeout rules, how the ball advances, and other unique aspects of the NBA.
Then again, Stevens says, "When you break it all down, at the end of the day, basketball is basketball. It's about who executes the way they want to play in a given game."
Basketball is basketball, that's right; but can the season start already? I'm sure Brad Stevens is just itching for the day to come too. October needs to get here, pronto.
I transcribed the entire one-on-one interview with Brad Stevens and you can click below to read that.