Evan Turner is looking at his new position as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics through a unique lens.
“It’s a super duper internship in a city I like a lot, I love,” said Turner during his media availability Monday.
The 32-year-old Turner put a halt to his playing career that spanned 10 seasons, including suiting up for the Celtics for two seasons from 2014-16, to began his introduction into coaching.
For Turner, who was the No. 2 overall pick out of Ohio State in the 2010 NBA Draft, he cited that his strong bond with coach Brad Stevens was a main selling point in joining the coaching staff and he felt he couldn’t pass up the opportunity when the Celtics came calling.
“Everybody knows I’ve been super fond of Brad and my guy Brady (Stevens’ son),” Turner said. “One thing, I trust the hell out of Brad. When it came down to trusting and leaving things up in the air with basketball – I left and my last situation wasn’t ideal – trusting Brad to guide me and learn from him, it was an easy transition, easy situation. I thought it was the best situation for me. That’s what I was looking forward to. He’s definitely been great at allowing me to learn and given me space and a comfort level to learn as well. And make mistakes.”
Turner said he joined the Celtics about a week ago and his focus will be on player development, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Turner helped guide the Celtics to the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Boston when Stevens was in his second and third years at the helm. Turner expects to be back there with the C’s this year and in the immediate future as Turner’s expectations are sky high for the group.
Turner also feels he is hanging on to some luck after coaching the Ohio State alumni team to the 2019 The Basketball Tournament Title.
“(Stevens) knows I’ve got a little bit of luck left in the tank. So he’s trying to take it and get him two or three (championships),” Turner said. “So he knows I have a great basketball mind. He knows I have a great basketball energy. You know, his first playoff appearance was when No. 11 was on the court, Now No. 11’s on the bench – not Payton Pritchard, me. Behind the bench, like, far behind the bench. Now I think we can make it or take it deep into July every year.”