While Brad Stevens might not get the “if you had to choose between Karl-Anthony Towns and Brad Stevens to start a franchise who would you choose and why is it Brad?” treatment on Twitter anymore, the fact remains that he’s still an elite coach and one of the finest defensive minds in the league. For that reasons, the Boston Celtics and Stevens have agreed to a contract extension, the team announced.
Brad Stevens has coached the Celtics since the 2013-14 NBA season, and that also happens to be the last time the Celtics have missed the playoffs. In 7 seasons, Stevens has climbed up to be fourth in the franchise in total wins (which is no small feat for one of the oldest franchises in the league) while also taking the Celtics to their first back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals since the late ‘80s. Only Red Auerbach (765), Tommy Heinsohn (427) and Doc Rivers (416) have won more as the head coach of the franchise.
As of the time of his extension, Stevens amassed a record of 318 wins and 245 losses (.565).
Although he has yet to win any Coach of the Year awards, it’s widely
known believed that he was snubbed in the 2017-18 year of the “Hospital Celtics,” a year that saw the team lose its two best players and Daniel Theis to injuries throughout the season while a young and upstart team managed to get minutes away from an NBA Finals berth. I promise I’m not still mad about that.
Narrator voice: Yes, he’s still mad about that.
This new contract extension will take Stevens well into the 2020s, although the exact contract details have not been disclosed. In response to the extension, majority owner Wyc Grousbeck said, “Brad is an accomplished coach and an outstanding person. We are proud to have him lead our team forward in our quest for Banner 18.”
Danny Ainge added, “Brad is one of the most intelligent and hard-working coaches in the game today. More importantly, his character and integrity have contributed to a culture that we all highly value here. Brad is a great teammate, and a leader people want to follow. We are honored to have him with us as we continue to pursue our next championship.”
Many have noted Stevens’ weaknesses as a coach after the hype surrounding his success with underdog teams reached critical mass. Yes, his rotations can be infuriating and yes, he is reluctant to give time to the youths. That doesn’t take away from the fact that pretty much every player who has come through those doors (take that, Pitino) has developed positively. I haven’t forgotten Eastern Conference Player of the Week Jordan Crawford.
Brad Stevens is significantly better than any other coach out there on the market who would be hired to replace him had he moved on from Boston, so the Celtics and fans should be happy that he’ll be here for the long haul as he attempts to push Boston past the ECF and toward Banner 18.