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Brad Stevens returns to Indiana and discusses the influence of Bobby Knight

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes wrote a sensational story about Brad Stevens as he returns home to Indiana to face the Pacers. In the story Holmes outlines how Stevens' idolized Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Celtics coach Brad Stevens’s stock on the rise as he returns to Indiana for first time - The Boston Globe
But that the two share any similarities is not all that odd, as Stevens idolized the Hoosiers and Knight throughout his youth, even pretending to coach Indiana as early as the second grade when Stevens wrote X’s and O’s on a chalkboard in his family’s basement.

Then, when Stevens was 8, he sat in the upper tier above the Indiana bench with his father, Mark, during a game between the Hoosiers and bitter rival Purdue.

It was during that 1985 game that Knight hurled a red plastic chair across the court and stalked the sideline, boiling over, irate with the officiating.

Many Hoosiers fans in the crowd that night cheered their volatile coach, and Stevens was among them, as he pumped his fist and howled in approval. "Brad was thrilled," Mark Stevens recalled. "He thought it was pretty cool."

Of course, Brad Stevens grew up to have a much calmer coaching demeanor than the wild Knight, but without him, he may have never been as interested in coaching as he was as a kid.

In terms of coaching techniques, it's interesting to see how things can be done so differently yet remain equally effective. You have authoritarians like Knight, who essentially put their players through army boot camp, and more cooperative coaches such as Stevens, who are willing to listen to the opinions of players.

No one way is right or wrong, and at the moment, it appears that Brad Stevens' style is perfect for the Celtics. But the greatest test for Stevens is on the horizon with a difficult upcoming schedule against his hometown Pacers and a long west coast road trip.