In a radio visit with 98.5 The SportsHub’s Zolak & Bertrand, Brad Stevens addressed the speculation that he’d be interested in returning to the college ranks to coach his home state’s Indiana University:
“Listen, that’s home. I appreciate all the nice sentiments. It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s certainly very kind,” Stevens said of the love from Indiana.
Stevens coached at Butler University in Indianapolis for five seasons, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA championship game. So whenever a blue blood basketball program is searching for a coach, Stevens’ name tends to come up in social media. He passed on the UCLA gig in 2013 and is often mentioned as the inevitable successor for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.
However, he signed an extension with the Celtics back in August of 2020. “Brad is one of the most intelligent and hard-working coaches in the game today,” Danny Ainge said at the time. “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.”
In addition to dispelling any rumors of his departure, Stevens talked about how well the team looks coming out of the All-Star break. “We came back and I thought we had some good practices. We did some good things against Brooklyn--really good--and then practiced well Friday and Saturday and then played well Sunday. I like where we’re at. Our practices look more like our practices in the bubble than any of our training camp practices, just from the standpoint of we had more bodies and we looked a little bit more like ourselves. This has just been a weird, strange year.”
This “weird, strange year” is finally finding some normalcy. Stevens said that Marcus Smart’s minute restriction after a strained calf forced him to miss eighteen games could be limited to just four; tonight against the Jazz will be his third of his return. And on March 29th, Boston will welcome a limited number of fans for Celtics home games. “I can not wait until TD Garden has fans. I can’t understate how much that will mean for our players and how much that will mean for our staff. It is another sign that things might be getting closer to normal.”