Post-game Reactions

With the hiring of Brad Stevens to a reported six-year 22 million dollar deal yesterday by the Boston Celtics, we got the crew together to take a look at what the hire means for the Celtics, and the future of Rajon Rondo in Boston.

1. What was your reaction to the hiring of Brad Stevens?

Michael Pina: Complete shock, followed quickly by intense relief and joy. The Celtics are headed into a definite rebuild. Hiring a young, level-headed, intelligent head coach to teach and develop an inexperienced roster over the next few seasons is the way to go; out of all possible candidates who would’ve also been acceptable, it’s difficult to say any are a better fit than Brad Stevens.

Brian Robb: Shock at first, then utter excitement. It was a bold move no one in the basketball world saw coming after Stevens had just signed another extension with Butler, but that doesn’t take away from how much of a home run this could be. Stevens is smart, has had tremendous success in Butler mixing analytics into his coaching, and does not come to town with a big ego. If he finds the right staff to help him command the respect of the players, this could be the start of a long successful stay in Boston.

Hayes Davenport: Positive! Stevens is a good coach. He made two NCAA Finals with a bunch of players who didn’t do much before or after they played for him. He’s a big analytics guy, that’s refreshing. And he comes with no ego, which saves him the step of losing it when his team is terrible next year.

2. Does bringing Stevens aboard make a trade of Rajon Rondo a stronger possibility?

Pina: “Rondo has to go!” was the Internet’s immediate hackneyed reaction to news that Brad Stevens would be replacing Doc Rivers as head coach of the Boston Celtics, and this makes sense…why? Is it common knowledge that Rondo gets violent with people who wear glasses? Did any reports leak that he’d make multiple attempts to poison Stevens if the Celtics hired him? Have the two ever even had a conversation? Because Stevens was hired, after weeks of repeatedly denying any desire to trade his best player, Danny Ainge would now, all of a sudden, pick up the phone and start shopping Rondo around the league? Probably not since it’s irrational. Rondo tore his ACL roughly six months ago, and his contract is below market value for the next two years. Those are facts, which are useful in analyzing situations like this one. He isn’t going anywhere.

Robb: In the short term, I don’t think it changes much in relation to Rondo. Danny isn’t going to get good market value for him anytime soon until he gets back on the floor, the C’s still need at least one star they can sell to their fans, he’s still on a very solid contract. None of this is altered with the hiring of Stevens. While it may be tough for a young coach with no NBA experience to reach Rondo, both guys are smart. Stevens is open to ideas and I feel like he’ll get a chance to prove to Rondo he knows what he is doing and earn his respect. Will it work? No one knows, but you can bet Danny will let them try.

Davenport: I think so, yes. Rondo sometimes had trouble playing for Doc Rivers and KG, so it’s hard to imagine he’ll really spark to a coach who is A) younger than KG, B) only played in high school (EDIT: Not true, he played in college. Sorry.) and C) looks like Nathan Fielder. Not saying he’ll push for a trade, but this move was definitely not made with Rondo in mind.

3. How does the hiring of Stevens change your outlook on the 2013-14 season, if at all? 

Pina: Doesn’t change anything. Gregg Popovich or Red Auerbach could coach the roster Boston is expected to put on the floor next season and they’d still crawl to 30 wins.

Robb: Compared to a retread head coach, I think you can add at least a couple extra wins to whatever ends up being the expectation for this revamped Celtics’ roster. He won’t be able to work magic obviously, but he has a track record of getting the most out of his players. Assuming adjusting to the NBA learning curve doesn’t take too long, he’ll make the best of the guys he has.

Davenport: Not at all. Despite Danny Ainge’s increasingly shameless claims that the Celtics are trying to win now, hiring a coach from the Horizon League is not a thing contenders do. He was hired because he’s good at evaluating players and building up young talent. The plan is for him and his team to grow together (and also to lose 55 games).

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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    someone tell Davenport that Stevens lettered 4 years at Depauw University in basketball…. do your research. And as a kid from Louisville with Boston blood in me from my dad, it would kill me to see Rondo leave. Still the best pure PG in the league and w Green we have a solid core 2. Who knows what Sully can become along with 3 U-22 7 footers. I honestly think Fab Melo wont ever be worth a lick. Saw CSU play agaisnt UL and didnt even notice Iverson. Hopefully Olynck can be some sort of god send. I implore Danny to somehow try and sign Monta Ellis or JR Smith. I also hated a few years ago when pure "get buckets" scorer from PC nonetheless (my dad's alma mater) got drafted by the C's then dumped for JaJuan Johnson who we dropped 1 year later. I'm excited to see him possibly become a poor mans Black Mamba.

    Long Live 'The Big Ticket' and 'The Truth'

    Fudge Brooklyn

    P.S. Can we just dump Wallace and Humphries? Rondo is going to punk Kris out everyday anyways

    • Vincent

      Why in the world would the C's want to bring an expensive long term contract like Ellis or JR Smith on board? Neither is known for their D or for playing team ball — horrible fits financially and from a basketball perspective. We need young cheap guys, or old cheap guys, or any guys that will take one year deals and help us lose games.

      • dasein

        Suggesting we sign Monta is getting perilously close to a ban 🙂

    • janos

      please, show a respect haynes web manger here

  • soomass

    Horizon League -> Atlantic 10 -> Big East -> NBA. So there's that.

  • aidanfromworcester

    Just when I thought the Celtics weren't going to be watchable next year this happens. I know a nice piece of property that's about to go on the market in North Attleborough.

  • Phil

    The degree to which you believe the extra impetus to trade Rondo seems to depend on which reports you read about the situation. There's a piece on ESPN Insider right now with sources basically calling Rondo the biggest coach killer in the NBA. Stuff like him having a confrontational personality that can quickly turn people against him and fracture a locker room, and his unwillingness to accept coaching/veteran leadership. There was also the Team USA issue a few years ago.

    That's all 'who you believe' stuff, but what isn't up to debate is that Stevens ran a squeaky clean program at Butler with a bunch of good guys. He hasn't handled anyone who was even remotely a problem. It's not unreasonable to expect him to clash with normal NBA egos, especially if his staff isn't put together the right way. Starting off with a guy like Rondo, you're basically bringing a bucket of gasoline to a guy with a flamethrower.

    That said, I'm not sure the hire 'changes' anything. I've yet to hear anyone who has any evidence that the Celtics have an intention of building around Rondo once his contract runs out. The Stevens hire just reinforces the win later mentality, and there's a good chance that Rondo isn't involved later.

  • janos

    to my think with someluck rondos lead the way title ,of hope; us'

  • emg

    I consider myself an obsessive follower of all things Rondo and I think his attitude may target other players like Green rather than Stevens. Especially since Doc and team was historically displeased w Green, Rondo may put his disappointments there. Rondo knows he's expected to be annoying, he has publicly stated in Sports Illustrated that his issues w coaches come from his father's abandonment, and given that he's a disciplined guy in many ways and not intending to put his allegiance with those problems. Even if he wants to leave the team he may conclude that his value is diminished if he's seen as a problematic person versus his prior hall of fame teammates like Pierce, Allen, KG, all of whom acted disciplined and like non-assholes during earlier phases of their careers. His locker room tantrum was 2 years ago and his relationship with Doc after that was loyal. I could see scenarios where there are cold spells where he thinks of himself as training team members on how to cut to the basket, interrupted by high scoring games against big against big opponents, but I guess if I had to bet on it, I don't see scenarios where he allows things explode into sustained conflict with Stevens.

  • BeanMan

    Rondo is not Pierce, let alone Bird. I have never been a fan of his diva act. It is not classy nor is it backed up by a record as the inarguable best player at his position. Obviously Rondo is one of the top PGs in the league, but you will never get a room full of basketball coaches (or fans for that matter) to come to the consensus that he is the best PG in the league.

    If the Bobcats, for example, were willing to give us a 2014 unprotected pick and a 2015 protected pick, I would trade him in a heartbeat. If Dallas wanted to give us three unprotected picks for him, I would pull that deal too (particularly if they would take Wallace's contract off our hands).

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of emulating the Popovich Way. Put it this way: He went the distance with the Heat, and does anybody think the Spurs of 2007-2008 would have lost against the Heat?

    It is high time for somebody to emulate Popovich's formula, which is precisely what we are doing with Stevens and all of these first-round picks we are stockpiling. Moving Rondo ought to be part of the plan.

    • dslack

      What diva act are you referring to?

    • hydrofluoric

      Rondo was drafted 22nd. You're telling me that if you get a probable top-5 lottery pick in the most stacked draft in years that you'd trade him?

      How many players WOULDN'T you trade for that?

  • BeanMan

    Well, since it is July 4th let's start with this:

    Now let's revisit why Rivers may be gone:

    And here is a great example of a diva who is obsessed with his stats:

    So a big question: How bad is it behind the scenes? And THE question: Is Rondo really a max contract guy we can build our franchise around?

    I suspect some of you are not being objective. It is not going to be a big deal if you have to put the Rondo jersey in the closet and take out the Bird jersey for a year or two. Look on the bright side, though: Maybe we'll all be wearing Wiggins' jersey this time next year?

    • fabzzz

      The bleacher report is not a real source. That Rivers story was never substantiated, and in any case, even if there was some conflict that everyone agreed to deny behind closed doors (sarcasm!) it would not be the reason why Rivers left. He left to coach a better team. End of story.

      Obsessed with his stats also seems like a bit of an overstatement. He did try to keep that assist record alive, true, but I am more pleased that he had a chance to break it then that he padded his stats. I also remember things like him playing out of his mind two postseasons ago, the all-star appearances and all-NBA spots. He may not be a max player in two or three years when the time comes to make a decision, but he will still be a very good player. And realistically, I don't think Danny or any GM would offer him a max contract.

      • BeanMan

        I've enjoyed watching Rondo grow as much as the next guy, but where there is smoke there is usually (but not always) fire. His comments about Team USA are enough for me to call him a diva. Do you think Jordan, Bird, Johnson, Stockton, Davidson, Malone, etc. would have ever spoke like that back in '92? And we keep hearing drips here and there that he has a bad locker room presence. I chalk it up to class on the part of Rivers that we are not getting the whole story. Like I said, where there is smoke there is usually fire.

        Besides, I am not convinced he is the guy we can build the franchise around. If somebody is willing to give us an unprotected pick next year, I'd have to consider it given the strength of the draft class.

        • BeanMan

          *Robinson, not Davidson.

          Rondo should have been honored to represent his country in the Olympics. Heck, Shaq was pissed he was passed over for Team USA 1992 in favor of Laettner.

          • BeanMan

            " "I don't think there's anything better to representing your country. I don't think anything in my life can come close to that."

            – Charles Barkley

            I mean, contrast that statement (and who considers Barkley a humble man?) with Rondo's sentiments and tell me with a straight face that Rondo is not a diva…

          • Phil

            Patriotism has nothing to do with basketball. There are relevant questions surrounding Rondo's history with Team USA, but it's the fact that everyone on the team reportedly hated having him there, and he was sent home from the team because of it, not that he wasn't honored to be a part of it.

          • BeanMan

            True, Phil. I probably should have brought that up with regards to the Team USA stuff.

            I guess the only reason I am harping more on the patriotic side, specifically Rondo's lack of appreciation representing the country, is due to it being the Fourth today. And another part of me is saddened that so many athletes today are more interested in putting, well, "crap" before country. Whitlock wrote an interesting article on the subject with regards to Hernandez and that mess (I do not agree with all of the article, but he makes some valid points about the change in culture). Myself, I would have done anything to be in a position to play in the Olympics. I cannot think of a greater honor in life, as exemplified by Barkley's comments about being on the Dream Team, so Rondo's comments just rub me completely the wrong way. Another thing is that I am growing increasingly convinced that Rondo is going to be shipped, so I guess that may be why I am being particularly down on Rondo the last couple weeks.

          • BeanMan

            One more thing with regards the whole Team USA fiasco: Krzyzewski is friends with Stevens. I am sure Stevens is going to be talking to Krzyzewski about Rondo. Ainge knows the truth about Rondo, whatever it may be. If Rondo is as bad as the worst detractors say, I will not be surprised if he is gone by the end of the month.

          • Kel

            Shut up with the Olympics crap. Jordan did NOT want to play in 92 until they got magic, bird, and Barkley on the team. He joined to not look bad and show those guys up in practice.
            Rondo doesn't have to compete in the Olympics if he doesn't want to, and it doesn't mean he isn't patriotic. Olympic basketball isn't the pinnacle of competition for the sport, the nba is. I wonder were you bashing him that summer after he had just led us to the nba finals?

          • The Cardinal

            Late and non-basketball related reply here: while you make many valid points about Rondo and the perceptions surrounding Rondo with regard to basketball, the patriotism angle is wayyy out of left field. Personally, if I were making millions of dollars a year playing a minimum of 6 grueling months a year at the NBA level, preserving my body to do what I'm being paid to do for my employer would take precedence over the ego trip of "representing my country." Right or wrong, that has to be as personal choice.

            Going to work, being the kind of friend and relative that looks out for other friends and relatives, being a good citizen and doing what little you can to make the country and world a better place, paying your taxes, leading a reasonably law-abiding existence and being respectful of other people and institutions – even those you disagree with or don't particularly like – is what real patriotism is about. Loudly proclaiming how much you love your country as compared to someone else and ascribing thoughts and motivations to others that you have no way in hell of knowing isn't the way to go. I despise politicians who do that.

            I'm old enough to remember when individuals as diverse as JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace and Larry Flynt (yeah, I went there) were shot and each time, I actually shed a tear because in my mind, that is not the way things should be done in our country. Yet there were many self-proclaimed "patriots" who gloated over the murders and murder attempts without realizing that endorsing and/or gloating over criminal acts of violence and vigilantism are as anti-patriot as you can get IMHO.

            I shed a tear when Richard Nixon resigned because again, I felt it was such an unbelievable thing for our country and for the office of the presidency to experience.

            "Patriotism" is like "religion" – it's such a personal thing that we need to be very careful about attacking others based upon our personal ideas.

            Peace out…

    • Lee

      Here is a rebuttal to July 4th story of USA teammates hating Rondo.

    • Lee Kania

      Rivers may be gone story. Yes the story is true but happen 2 to 3 years ago. Rivers said before leaving Celtics that one of the reasons he was leaving was because of Rondo was ridiculous. The last 2 years they have had a good relationship.

  • BeanMan

    And let's not forget that Parker may prove to be even better than Wiggins. If we tank, I like our odds of landing one of the two.

  • dasein

    For what it's worth, Chad Ford has Julius Randle as the clear no.2 with a chance to be no.1. Parker and Gordon are rated behind those two.

  • BeanMan

    True, dasein. Also, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison are also AAA prospects we may land. They are essentially the same player by virtue of them being twin brothers.

    The draft next year is LOADED. We are likely headed towards a high lottery pick as is. Why not try to double dip into this pool if possible? That is why I am so hugely in favor of moving Rondo for an unprotected pick (and more) from a perennial loser.

  • celticlegend00

    i really wish people quit riding rondos back u guys act like rondo is a curse from hell the man can play basketball hes has great leadership and vision on the court nobody's perfect hes entitled to opinions i think a guy like rondo and stevens could be a good thing especially for a young coach starting an nba carrer wish people would shut the hell up see what the upcoming season brings before they start putting up bullshit that they read from some undisclosed sources we all were young at some point in our lives but we do mature lets not take a few player/coach disagreements and badger a guys career after all he did win help win us a championship u ungratefull bastards.

    • dasein

      A personal rule I have is to avoid reading text where the word to punctuation ratio is greater than 100:1.

      But the gist here seems to be that anyone who entertains the idea that trading Rondo might be better for the Celtics than keeping him is going to burn in hell. I think this is misplaced.

      I like Rondo and would be happy for him to stay. I'd be even happier if the Celtics win more titles in the next 10 years. If trading him makes the titles more likely, then I'm good with it. If keeping him makes titles more likely, that's great too. However, the fact that Rondo will be in this 30s by the time the Cs are realistically going to be contenders again needs to be considered. The right answer as to whether or not you keep him would come down largely to what you'd be getting back for him.

      The one thing we can be sure of is that Trader Danny is listening to offers and will make a decision one way or the other regardless of what anyone here thinks.

  • BeanMan

    Come on, man. I love the Celtics. I am a fan of the Celtics, not just Rondo (and I will no longer be a fan of Rondo if we move him; the dude is not Pierce, a guy I will cheer for whenever the interests of Brooklyn do not conflict with our interests). If the team keeps Rondo, that is great because it signals to me that he is NOT the locker room cancer everybody hears rumors about. If we move Rondo, particularly before the start of the season, that signals to me that we either got an amazing deal and/or Rondo was as bad as the worst detractors say.

    I'd love to see Rondo stay on the team and become unarguably the best PG in the game today while being a positive, outstanding leader both on and off the court. But I am trying to be objective, realistic, and optimistic about the players we may secure and rebuild this franchise around. Rondo may or may not be a part of this rebuilding effort. Either way, I will continue to bleed green!

  • hellyloya
  • Vermont Celts Fan

    Time to trade Rondo. With the Rockets getting D12, they can send out Lin and Asik ($17mm). Take back Rondo and CLee and throw us a few 1st rounders. Asik is solid and clears Lee's contract off the books. Or work s 3 way with the Hawks.

  • MontrossDad

    Stevens is a ridiculous hire.
    Wrong choice by far

  • Mathteach1227

    Rondo clashed number 1 because Peirce and Garnett did not want to take the aging veteram back seat that they needed to. The did not want to let it be Rondo's team. Peirce was the force behind the evacuation of Walker because he can not stand to share the spotlight, Peirce should gave been a 6th man at best in his last year here. The friction with Doc was because Doc was too much of a veteran butt kisser to back Rondo when the @@@ hit the fan. While I think this coach coulfd be run over by Rondo, I think that if Rondo feels respected it will be fine, Maybe Doc was just jealous of a guard that is better than he ever could have been. When you have a team full of college kids, a college coach is perfect to gtow with them to the promised land