Boston sports coaches have long been part of a mutual admiration society. The bond shared between Bill Belichick, Terry Francona, Doc Rivers and Claude Julien was so strong, the four championship-winning coaches dubbed their foursome the “winner’s circle.”
Belichick is the last coach remaining from that group, and over the last year, he’s expressed his strong admiration for Brad Stevens. Last July, for example, Belichick lauded Stevens’ job with the Celtics when he visited training camp. Stevens, in turn, said being around Belichick makes you “feel inadequate.”
Belichick returned the favor recently, praising Stevens to Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal. In particular, Belichick says he respects the winning culture Stevens has implemented in the Celtics’ locker room.
“Coach Stevens is incredible,” Belichick told Bedard. “He always points out that the players are the ones who, regardless of the situation, have made this a special team, defying all expectations and adversity game after game after game. But he clearly is a driving force behind it. Coach Stevens is a phenomenal person, leader, teacher and strategist, and the job he does is a model for all coaches.”
The Celtics have improved each season under Stevens, going from winning 25 games in his inaugural year to reaching Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals just four years later. While the NBA Finals were within the Celtics’ grasp –– they led by 12 points with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter –– there’s no doubt this was an incredible postseason run. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward slated to return next season, the Celtics are the prohibitive favorite in the East.
But don’t expect Stevens to publicly enflame the hype. Much like Belichick, he often talks critically about his team to the press, and never takes credit for their success.
These guys were meant for each other.
Full article @ Bill Belichick praises Brad Stevens: He’s a ‘model for all coaches’
Source: GreenStreet Blog