Post-game Reactions

Danny Ainge and the Celtics introduced new head coach Brad Stevens today in Waltham. One early revelation: although Ainge’s 36-year-old hire was initially seen as a surprising choice, Ainge had actually been scouting him for the last few years:

“In 2010 [at the NCAA championship game] Steve [Pagliuca] and I went to the championship game against Duke,” said Ainge. “As I sat there, I said ‘that’s the best coach in college basketball right down there on the sidelines’ and he thought I was talking about Coach K.

“Brad was my first choice.” Ainge said. “I have watched and admired his poise… his intelligence, his teams, their effort, their execution under pressure. I’ve always looked at him the last few years as a guy that was a great candidate to be a head coach, never thinking it was going to be this soon in Celtics history.”

Stevens appeared legitimately humbled by his role as one of the new caretakers of the Celtics tradition.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” he said. “I am absolutely humbled to be sitting in this room and (to see) the banners that hang. One of the things I am so thrilled about is to work in a place that has such a high standard but that also places such a high value on culture.”

Stevens emphasized his process-driven approach to coaching and highlighted another area where he plans to set a high bar for himself next season.

“I believe in relationships. I’m really excited to sit down and meet all the players. The most important thing is to meet the people, spend time with the people and figure out what makes everybody go and figure out what collectively you can achieve.”

He also couldn’t escape the Rajon Rondo questions, which have been lingering since the announcement of his hire.

“As far as Rondo, there is no bigger fan of Rajon Rondo than me. He is a incredibly, incredibly talented person. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him and talking ball.”

If he completes his contract, Stevens will be the head coach of the Celtics for the next six seasons, through spring 2019. With that in mind, what did everyone think of the new coach? Did he make a good first impression on you?

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Ryan DeGama

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  • MontrossDad

    Incredibly poor candidate for nba head coaching job, but exactly the type of coach Danny ainge needs.

    • Vincent

      Why is he a poor candidate? Any reason in particular?

    • dasein

      Who would you have preferred Montross?

  • Phil

    I though Stevens came across just fine. In a situation like this, you just don't want the coach to come across as phony or like he has no idea what's going on. Stevens definitely didn't seem phony in being honored by the position, and he also legitimately understands and even seems excited to help the team rebuild.

    Stevens' candidacy should be judged off his body of work over the last six+ years, and he's done plenty there to prove that he's worthy of a shot at something bigger. Given that the Cs wanted to target a young coach on the rise with the potential to grow with the team, you couldn't ask for much better unless you really value time in the NBA (and even then, the top assistants seemed to prefer other jobs.) I'm excited to see what he can do over the next few years.

  • MontrossDad

    “Something bigger”
    Right like an acc job maybe

  • SmalltownID

    If you care about values, then how can you not be excited after that press conference? I couldn't be more excited about having a quality individual at the helm of one of my favorite organizations. I hope they can surround him with a nice balance of players with talent and values. I hope that is not an oxymoron in the NBA.

  • MontrossDad

    I don’t care about values. At all.

    • SmalltownID

      Montross, surely there is a correlation between values and success!!!

  • Vincent

    I'm excited and I think he's a great choice. You can't take a collection of HS recruits no one else wanted and make it to 2 NCAA title games without having some serious coaching skills. If it turns out he's in over his head, cut him loose. If he does well and grows on the job, you don't mind taking some lumps with him as the team is lottery-bound even if Phil Jackson was coaching it. Nice job, Danny. More important, Go Celts!

  • DreMo

    I’m anticipating who will encompass his staff .. I think in the short term, than the long, that’s probably the most important question .. because it’ll be an indicator of the pulse of the team going forward and what to expect in regard to Stevens development as an NBA HC ….

  • hax

    Excited about him being the new coach. Not excited about our roster, outside of Rondo & Green. Really hope Danny can get rid of the garbage we got from the Nets.

    • Vincent

      No one is supposed to be excited about our roster until the 2014-15 season. This year, losing is winning.

      • hax

        This team is too good to get Wiggins or Parker, so I disagree. 🙁
        Rondo is one of the best in the league at making his teammates better.
        Green has a second chance on life and went from 'average Celtics bench player' to 8 short of highest scoring game in the whole NBA last year. And both of them will be stronger(Rondo's been able to shoot the ball for months now, despite rehab.)
        We could make the playoffs with this roster.

        • Phil

          You're heavily overrating the talent on this roster. They made the playoffs as a seven seed last year, and that was with a defense that fell apart whenever KG was on the bench, and with an offense and team dynamic that depended on Pierce. Jeff Green has shown enough to make it clear that he's not replacing Pierce (the fact that you cite his peak game and not his averages is really the entire problem with him.)

          They won't have Rondo for more games than last year, and could have him for even less if the front office decides to be "cautious" with his recovery. They know it's in their best interest to lose; don't be surprised if there's another trade or some peculiar decisions made that make the team worse. Rondo also may not show up ready to play at an all star level when he gets here. Why would he go all out on a team that's trying to lose?

          You are right that the Cs aren't bad enough for the worst record yet though. The Magic and some other teams are making a serious push for that 30 spot. The Cs will have to step down their game to get there.

          • hax

            I think we have a chance at Wiggins/Parker if we trade Rondo to Detroit for an ungodly amount of 1st round picks.

    • SmalltownID

      We have reason to be excited about Olynyk and Sully too in my opinion. That is before the season even starts! I'm excited to see what cream will rise to the top. After what Doc did with Semi "automatic" Erden and Stiemsma. Stevens is going to blow Doc out of the gym with developing players.

    • The Cardinal

      Bogans and Joseph, yes. Brooks, Humphries, and Wallace will can be solid contributors although for the right deal, one of the latter two could be traded – although personally, I'd rather trade Bass if possible and keep Humphries (especially with his expiring contract). I think Wallace is too expensive to trade unless he's part of a larger package deal.

      Honestly, we still need a proven point guard who is capable of starting if Rondo isn't ready, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Danny attempt a sign and trade with Atlanta for Jeff Teague, who is surprisingly still on the open market. I'm just not sure who the Hawks would want in return, and whether it would have to be a muti-player deal now that they have acquired Millsap.

  • skeeds

    In a league full of "coaches", I just hope this guy has the chance to really do what he's proven he can do, his way. Just based on his career at Butler, he's proven to be a better coach than 2/3s of NBA coaches. He will need trust and time, and patience from us fans.
    The 6 year contract speaks volumes. Ainge obviously looks like he's made up his mind of how this team will grow. As for Rondo, if he doesn't like it, then show him the door. I don't care how spectacular he is. If he can't commit to a system he's not for us.
    That being said, I'm pretty sure these 2 will get along great. They're both too smart not to figure out how to cooperate.

    • SmalltownID

      This is true. I loved that interview. "We are investing in people. " If they don't show the same investment, move on, it is that simple. I have never been a huge Rondo fan but I am excited for this opportunity he has. Will he have the patience of a Pierce to go through the growing pains?

  • MontrossDad

    Nothing Brad Stevens did in college coaching, or high school of aau ball has anything to do with nba basketball.
    The comparison is a trap, it’s not even about the lack of successful NCAA coaches transitioning up the nba, brad Stevens personal coaching package is not nba compatible- look at his offense defense schemes…
    Danny ainge needs the opposite of doc, a guy with no nba credibility who is beholden to the gm for his job…so maximum leverage for a gm with a lot of “ideas”
    Ainge has to go for a true rebuild….fact

    what does professional sports have to do with values? Precious little.

    • JStokes1313

      What's so incompatible about his packages? Butler ran a motion offense based on maintaining floor spacing, and their defense was widely considered one of the most advanced in college basketball because it was so similar to successful NBA defenses. Not that outrageous to transition those to the NBA.
      And even if they don't, the question becomes whether he's smart enough to adjust and come up with something that works. Pitino wasn't (god those press units were awful), but every indication is that Stevens is.

  • BeanMan

    "what does professional sports have to do with values? Precious little."

    Professional sports and values went together like a horse and carriage up until about 10-15 years ago. Look at the Hernandez fiasco, which is hopefully the low-point of this breakdown in the relationship between values and professional sports. It is time for fans to demand values from their teams. Think about the impact these athletes have on young people. No wonder so many current young adults, the ones who grew up in the last 10-15 years, lack values and direction in their lives right now. Parents are not parenting, most athletes are in the "ME, ME, ME" program, etc.

    • Phil

      There's a big difference between values in sports and not killing multiple people. An athlete smoking weed or doing something else every other 22 year old in the country is doing isn't going to negatively affect the team in any way.

      Professional athletes get paid to play a game. Coincidentally, most professional athletes are guys in their mid twenties who have been focusing on that career since they were little, and have no experience being a real adult or role model. A high percentage of them have little interest in education since it's of no use to them (at least while they're in the spotlight,) and a lot of them make the same bad decisions re lifestyle that any other twenty year old would. Basically, it's hard to pick a worse role model pool than professional athletes.

      And that's not their fault either. Like I said, they get paid to play a game. it's not their job to foster the nation's youth or pick up the slack for anyone's lousy parenting. You can either have the players with the highest level of ability playing in the same league, or you can have good players who are all role models (division 2 would probably be your best bet,) you can't have it both ways.

      Related to Stevens; I do think it's good that he puts importance in values. Being a good role model is better than being a bad one, but it won't matter at all if it doesn't result in wins. The fans aren't coming out to watch a six year rebuild because the players are good sports and role models. Winning is valued above everything else in professional sports.

  • dslack

    He came across as an intelligent, thoughtful, calm, steady man. Exactly the kind of person I'd want coaching my team. That, combined with his obvious coaching chops, makes him an excellent candidate, and I expect he will do a marvelous job.

  • swissflix

    Welcome to the Celtics, Brad! Very excited already. Can't the season start on Monday?

  • SmalltownID

    Winning is ONE value not mutually exclusive from other factors (values) that increase the probability of triumph.

  • SmalltownID

    I completely disagree that you can’t have it both ways Phil. How dumb is that? Is that not what made the big 3 successful? Because they established a culture, one with values like hard work and taking responsibility on the defensive end (to name a few). I am not saying they were perfect but they had talent and values that set them apart from other teams & resulted in championships. It seems to me you have to have both to “win”. Every team has talent, so what separates the winners from the losers? Culture, formed by values and the perfect compliment of talent.

    • Phil

      I didn't mean that you can't have values on a winning team, it's quite the contrary; mature adults who are focused on winning and not doing stupid stuff is a benefit. I was more pointing out that it's unrealistic to expect that from a group of twenty-something jocks (especially when we're talking about the NBA as a whole.) The Celtics put together a once a decade core that happened to encapsulate the perfect balance of on and off court stuff. If the Cs can replicate that in another five/ten years, we'll all be very happy. It's not likely though. The Big 3 experience was special.

      What's more likely is that the Cs are able to put together a talented core of "normal" guys. If the Cs have the option to pick up a troubled talent (let's say the five year from now version of Demarcus Cousins,) it may be their best option. It's easier to find cheap locker room leadership than it is to find all stars. There are always Juwan Howards and Keyon Doolings around. Values are nice, but you have to start with talent (or luck, but that's a given either way.)

  • Phil

    Josh Smith to the Pistons is official (well, announced I guess. Nothing's official yet.) I wonder if this means Rondo rumors will heat up soon. They have a hole at PG unless you believe in Brandon Knight (which you shouldn't,) and they have a glut in the front court.

    I think they're more likely to go after someone like Jeff Teague, but I wouldn't put it above Dumars to send off a talented young big to go after someone like Rondo.

    • dasein

      I feel sorry for Pistons fans. Well, not really. teeheehee

      • Phil

        Hey, you have to look at the bright side: It's better than Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.

  • dasein

    Just reading the chad with Pelton on ESPN. Some Pistons fan asked whether they could land Rondo by giving Knight and maybe absorbing Wallace.

    Pelton correctly pointed out that Knight wasn't going to move the needle for the Celtics.

    Further evidence that the answer to "who say's no" questions is almost always the team who isn't being supported by the question asker.

  • BeanMan

    Obviously the ultimate objective is to win a championship. That almost goes without saying. However, the quest for a championship should always include having a team with values both on and off the court. For example, players should work hard, live with integrity including respecting the law, strive for TEAM excellence in addition to individual excellence, see it as an honor to play on their country's Olympics team, embrace coaching innovations, and so on and so forth. We should not have players who do not embrace these values. We're the Celtics, not the Lakers.

    Part of the reason why I became a Celtic fan way back when was because our franchise personified winning with class. All of those banners were won by teams with the aforementioned values. Who really wants to win without values?

    • Phil

      It's your opinion if you feel that way, though I'm pretty confident that you would be out-voted if the choice was accepting a questionable player and winning or staying squeaky clean and losing.

      What about accepting a player like Artest as a role player when you already have a good core in place? When he went to the Lakers, he had as checkered of a past as anyone, but he helped them win. He was pretty well behaved there (though not perfect, as James Harden's head could attest.) If you turn away guys like that though, you might miss your final piece for a championship.

      What about Kobe? Or more relevantly, what if your franchise player (let's say it's Andrew Wiggins circa 2017,) is going through something similar to what Kobe went through around 2000? If you just cut ties, you're damning yourself to probably another 5 years of losing. Kobe came back and has been a solid person from everything I can see. He still comes across as a jerk, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for winning.

      What about guys who aren't necessarily bad, but are just immature like Dwight Howard and Bynum?

      Honestly, your standards seem a little unreasonable from what I can gather. The Celtics don't have enough of an advantage over other teams that they can act holier than though and still win. Just because they did it in the past (I mentioned the Big 3 was a stroke of luck, but it was a completely different league pre 90s,) doesn't mean it can happen again. You're not drafting Andrew Wiggins' rights a year before he's eligible and stealing him like Red did with Bird today.

      • dasein

        To be fair, KG can be a bit of an asshole. There was-

        – the Calderon thing (bizzare),
        – the cancer patient thing with Villaneva (if anyone believes KG's version to the media, I've got a bridge I'd love to sell you)
        – honey nut cherrios (ok, that was kinda funny)

        But the worst one that I know of was, well just google something like "why Tim Duncan hates KG". If true, not cool at all.

        But yeah, Phil is right. Even when stuff like this is hard to defend, as a fan you kind of turn a blind eye because he's your guy and he helps you win.

        • Phil

          Funny, I wasn't even thinking about that when I was typing all of this up, which I guess speaks to the point. Winning is the ultimate cologne. Win, and fans, the team, the media, everyone overlooks the grey area.

  • BeanMan

    Also, I have no problem with young players smoking weed or being promiscuous so long as it does not impact their performance and so long as they keep it private. It is not my thing, but marijuana should have been legalized decades ago. There is a big difference between marijuana and drugs like cocaine, crack, etc.

    I have problems with many aspects of current mainstream culture (the glorification of "gangsta life" is repulsive and doing great harm to millions of young people, particularly in urban America), but marijuana usage among those in their 20s is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, I would rather see people smoking up than drinking hard liquor.

    • Phil

      I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but you can't just set arbitrary lines like that if you want the team to take a hard stance. Whether you agree or not, marijuana is illegal and alcohol is legal. A player who keeps testing for the positive for the former will draw media headlines until he's kicked out of the league, while the latter will probably go unnoticed forever unless it leads to a DUI or a similar arrest. It gets tricky fast when you gauge players off of more than how they affect the team.

      We can all agree that getting arrested and suspended is a negative, but a lot of people in the league do reprehensible stuff without it affecting their team.

      Personally, I just appreciate the guys who do it the right way while accepting that not everyone who's a good enough player to reach the NBA is going to live up to my standards for a good human. Tying it back to the initial point; it's good that the coach here is supposedly someone who does things the right way, because he may have to eventually guide some guys who don't.

  • MontrossDad

    Basketball players should play basketball…I require nothing of them beyond that.
    To say that the og big three exhibited a higher class of values is ludicrous.
    The 24 hr espn news cycle is predicated on building heroes and tearing them down…efficiently and not without narrative.
    I would have preferred a head coach with nba experience, if not nba- at least experience working with top tier recruit…which brad Stevens does not have, unequivocally.

  • check12check

    I think the guy can probably be a valuable asset to an NBA coaching staff, and I think he can be a good head coach for that matter; however, I am skeptical about just throwing him strait into a head coaching job. there is such a big difference between the pros and college ball. I think time as an assistant to adjust to the league would have been helpful before trying to step right into the hot seat. I think the hire makes sense for the Celtics though. I can picture Danny rooting for his newness to coaching to lead directly to a couple losses next year. After a few years we should have a solid team built up again, and at that point we can evaluate if his coaching is up to snuff or just not cutting it.

  • check12check

    sidenote: who think we are going to see some Fab Melo action this season? I've finally been doing some homework on him, and he looks better than i expected. he's still rough, but you can see that the package is there. we kind of want to tank this year anyway, so why not let the kid cut his teeth running with the big boys?

    • JStokes1313

      Watching him now at summer league. He has bulked up quite a bit. Looks slightly more polished than last year (not saying much, but at least he's not a complete dud yet)

  • celticlegend00

    this hiring is nothing more than danny having just a about control of the team the jerry jones act doc rivers tolerated danny shit for a while which im sure he had more input because of the respect ,knowlege and friendship they have but danny going to run over this youngster decisions he tried it with o'brien remember but obbie said screw you bro i'm outta here

  • Phil

    So, apparently I missed the Cs first summer league game. Come on, CelticsHub, you're supposed to warn me >_>

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