NBA side goes left of field when new leader who has been plucked from Butler University.
The rebuilding Boston Celtics named Brad Stevens as head coach, hoping his success at the helm at Butler University will translate to the NBA.
The 36-year-old Stevens spent the last six seasons as the head coach at Butler University and led the Bulldogs to the National Championship game in 2010 and 2011.
His Butler teams never won fewer than 22 games in a season as he kept the university that boasts a total enrollment of just 4,500 contending in the fiercely competitive world of US collegiate basketball.
“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
“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 succeeds Doc Rivers, who had served as Boston’s head coach since 2004 and guided the NBA club to the 2008 NBA title before departing for the Los Angeles Clippers for an unprotected 2015 first-round draft pick prior to last Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Rivers wasn’t the only veteran presence expected to depart Boston this offseason.
Forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with guard Jason Terry are reportedly headed to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that will leave Stevens with several first-round draft picks over the coming years.
The Celtics are expected to receive first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 from the Nets in addition to forwards Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Tornike Shengelia.
The proposed deal can’t become official until the NBA’s moratorium on player signings is lifted on July 10.