Bulpett: Stevens reaffirms commitment to Celtics despite "whispers"

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Bulpett of the Herald is reporting that Celtics head coach Brad Stevens remains committed to bringing a championship to Boston and honoring his six-year contract, despite rumors that he's itching to get back to the college game.

The season has surely been a grind.  The team dropped their 54th game last night to the Pistons in spectacular fashion, giving up a 19-point lead to the similarly lottery-bound Pistons.  According to the NBA.com/stats' page, Brad Stevens ' Celtics lead the league in (un)clutch losses at 32 (games where the teams were within 5 points in the final 5 minutes).  On one hand, thats an ugly number of losses that tankers might rejoice in, but on another, it shows how gritty this roster has been under Stevens.  Stevens recently placed 11th in an ESPN poll ranking head coaches.  Not bad for a guy with less than a year under his belt.

However, rumors will persist that the once wunderkind of Butler, especially on the eve of tonight's championship game, a game that Stevens led his underdog Bulldogs to twice in a row.  According to Bulpett , there are rumblings that he'd entertain the idea of returning to the college ranks--possibly waiting out an opportunity of coaching Duke when Coach K steps down--but Stevens waves off those notions and reaffirms his dedication to the franchise:

"I appreciate the fact that people would say that as a positive remark to what we did at Butler, but at the same time I haven’t paid one bit of attention to it," Stevens said. "You know, my wife has said that she’s really enjoyed this late March and early April from the standpoint that she said, ‘I don’t even know what’s going on with the coaching carousel right now.’ Because sometimes the rumors were so rampant that you had to squash rumors that weren’t even true.

"When we signed on for this, this was our saying: ‘We’re going to be here. We’re going to get after this. We’re going to try to do this our very best.’ Hopefully that’s going to be good enough.

"One of the things that we really said right from the get-go upon deciding to take this job and leave Butler is that we want to give this a full swing," he said. "And I’m going to do everything I can to make this the best it can be."

Personally, I have zero concern that Brad would pull a Doc and leave.  Really, are there greener pastures than this side of the fence?  He's been courted by some of the biggest programs in college basketball and inevitably, chose the Celtics when he decided to leave Butler.  Could he have a change of heart after another disappointing season?  Maybe, but like his players, I've bought into the process.  I don't think we've seen the best of Brad Stevens yet.  Not even close.  So far, we've seen Stevens make the transition from amateurs to pros smoothly.  His teams play hard every night, he has a good rapport with his players, and he's fostered a good relationship with his star player, Rajon Rondo .  But if I can be critical for a second, I don't think we know what style Stevens wants to play yet.  Maybe he doesn't know either and that's OK.  That comes in Year 2 and it's great to hear that Stevens is looking forward to it just as much as I am.

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