For years now the top college programs in the nation have been trying to hire Butler’s Brad Stevens away to run their program. They all failed.
Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics did not.
Boston hired Stevens away in a move they announced late Wednesday. It’s a hire that surprised a lot of people but is brilliant for a franchise trying to rebuild — he is the perfect blend of young, energetic and well respected.
“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a statement on the Butler University Web site.
“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge in a released statement. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”
Stevens, 36, is a guy whose style should adapt well to the NBA even at his young age (he is five months younger than Kevin Garnett).
First off, Butler was a defense first team that won on that side of the court. Also, like a lot of mid-majors, their offensive system relied on precise execution, according to our own Rob Dauster of CollegeBasketballTalk told PBT. Execution and detail orientation are things that will work in the NBA.
Finally, he is a very smart coach who loves to use advanced stats, which again melds with what Boston wants to do.
Danny Ainge gets a win here for the rebuilding effort.