First off, we can start calling Brad Stevens by a familiar nickname: "Doc". Over the weekend, Stevens received an honorary doctorate from Butler University and during his commencement speech, he delivered some strong words about "the process" and having the right attitude:
"I just participated and was part of a season that didn't go very well," said Stevens. "And it was really interesting because my day-to-day approach didn't change, because of what I learned at Butler. Don't let your attitude be controlled by the circumstance. ... You are going to have great days, great days with great success, huge wins, and those could be your biggest challenges moving forward. Because how you handle that might be more of a character revelation more than anything else.
"But also, you're going to have some really tough days. And you're going to have things that challenge you greater than you think you can overcome. I'll tell you this: The times of biggest adversity, at least with the groups that I've been a part of, have also been the times that the trampoline is the bounciest. And it's going to be what you look back on and reflect on, that you're so proud of that you persevered through those lower moments."
Check out Chris Forsberg's and Jay King's summaries on his comments. They're both great pieces about the Stevens' leadership and how it harkens back to a time when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were preaching about grit & balls and Ubuntu.
It's great to hear that many of the Celtics have already taken Stevens' words to heart and have been spotted at Waltham already preparing for next season. A. Sherrod Blakely caught up with Ainge and Danny mentioned that you can already hear the squeaking of sneakers in the team's practice facility:
"Rondo and Brandon (Bass) and Chris Johnson and Chris Babb have all been in this week," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. "Those guys have all been in working out."
And Avery Bradley is coming in soon as well.
Phil Pressey just left town last week, but will likely be back at some point this summer to work out some more as well.
While there is indeed some uncertainty as to what the future holds for all those players in Boston, it's clear that their focus - for now at least - is to do all they can to prepare for next season as a member of the Boston Celtics.
"I definitely plan to be up here a lot this summer," Babb told CSNNE.com last month. "I plan to do all I can to better myself as a player and just keep working to improve in all areas of my game."
Like last year, the Celtics will compete in the Orlando Summer League in what could be a stacked pre-season team. Despite starting many games last season, Jared Sullinger has expressed his interest in practicing and possibly playing with the squad in July. Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani could see some minutes as well and it wouldn't be a surprise if the three non-guaranteed rookies (Phil Pressey, Chris Babb, and Chris Johnson) made their way down to Orlando, too. The team will also feature the Celtics' lottery pick and the #17 selection.