It was a night to remember for Brad Stevens. The Celtics had just won their third straight game, firmly leaving their struggles from earlier this month in the rear view. The had done it without the services of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Enes Kanter. It was the kind of win that has been a hallmark in Stevens’ Celtic career, leading an undermanned, underdog to victory.
With this victory, Brad Stevens moved to 5th all-time in wins for a Celtics coach. In what was his 536th game in charge, the Celtics tasted victory for the 300th time. He now sits just eight wins behind K.C Jones. It’s a fantastic achievement for the former Butler coach who joined the team at the start of their rebuild back in 2014. In the seven seasons since, he has developed a reputation as being one of the premier coaches in the league, earning praise from legends like Greg Popovich in the process.
Having established a clear culture and style of play during his time with the organization, Brad Stevens has overseen an expedited rebuild which has seen multiple players have their best years of their career under his guidance. Evan Turner and Isaiah Thomas are two of the most notable names, while Enes Kanter is this year’s beneficiary of “the Brad Stevens effect.”
Only missing the playoffs once since taking the position is another credit to him considering some of the rosters he had to work with during the early years of his tenure. But to think that it has all been plain sailing for him would be naive, he has had to overcome and endure the criticism that comes with coaching the most storied franchise in NBA history, something which he has handled with class and dignity throughout.
With his contract running until 2022, there is still plenty of time for Stevens to continue his rise up the wins column and aim to catch 3rd placed Doc Rivers who ended his tenure with 416 wins and a championship ring, something which K.C Jones also accomplished twice back in 1984 and 1986.
It’s that Larry O’Brien trophy that will ultimately define Brad’s time in Boston when all is said and done. Should he win a ring or two then his legacy will forever be remembered. Fail and all the wins will count for nothing. That’s the pressure you face when you’re the coach of the Boston Celtics.
If he has taught us anything during his time at the helm, it’s never to count him or his team out. He has took far less talented teams to the conference finals before and still has a few years left on his current deal to do so. There is still time for him to achieve this goal.
For now though, Celtics fans should celebrate having such a young and accomplished coach leading their team on a nightly basis. There are not many better Brad. Three hundred career wins is an amazing achievement; to do so at his young age is even more impressive. It would be a travesty if he was to end his career without any rings, a travesty that seems increasingly unlikely as each season progresses.
Congratulations, Coach. Here is to another 300 wins.