Brad Stevens insists he won’t leave Celtics for a college job

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Practically since the minute he left Butler University to take the Boston Celtics head coaching job, there have been rumors and speculation about what Brad Stevens is going to do next. He signed a six-year contract with the Celtics, but reports have surfaced over the past 18 months that Stevens would be in line to take the next big-name college coaching job that comes open, be it Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky or somewhere else. The latest rumor has him in the mix to replace Tom Crean at Indiana University.

Stevens insists that isn’t true. From SB Nation’s Paul Flannery:

“I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens told me before Thursday’s practice at the team’s facility. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot. I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation.

“I’m the head coach of the Boston Celtics,” Stevens continued. “This is the job. This is where I am. This is what I want to do really well and I’m committed to being as good as I can every single day for the Celtics.”

Obviously, Stevens is going to say that when he’s asked about these rumors. But Celtics fans have to be encouraged that he went on record so strongly that he was committed to the team. When Danny Ainge signed him to a six-year conctract, he knew that they were going to go through a rebuild, and the long-term deal was a show of faith that Stevens was his guy for the long haul.

Thursday’s trade of Rajon Rondo to Dallas only solidifies the Celtics’ place in the draft lottery and gives Stevens a new, young roster to shape. They have lots of picks in the next few drafts, and continuity is important to a rebuilding team. It makes sense for them to keep Stevens around long-term, and it sounds like he wants to be there.