Brad Stevens reveals how Danny Ainge sold him on becoming Celtics coach

Brad Stevens reveals how Danny Ainge sold him on becoming Celtics coach

Celtics coach Brad Stevens conducted a lengthy sit-down with Bill Burt of the Eagle-Tribune, which is well worth your time. One section stood out: Stevens’ first interactions with Danny Ainge when he was in the process of being hired by the Celtics.

It turns out Stevens conducted most of his clandestine interview to replace Doc Rivers over the phone. The two didn’t actually meet until the day Stevens decided to take the job in July of 2013.

“The day I was hired was my first time really spending any significant time with him,” Stevens told Burt. “Before that, I think I shook his hand once in a tournament as I walked by. There was nothing more than, ‘Hello, nice to meet you.’

“I think right after Doc left, he called and said, ‘I would like to you consider being the coach here,’ and so we just went back and forth for the better part of eight or nine days. He was at the time, right before or right in the middle of when the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade happened, so he had a lot going on. But we talked pretty much every day in that time frame.

“He was very realistic about where we were going to be and where we wanted to go. Any time you look at the pro game and college — now, shoot, unfortunately it’s even trickled down to high school as well — people are quick to make a change in coaches.

“And, if you look at the track record here before, Doc was here nine years, he was one of the most tenured coaches in the league. The way that everybody spoke about Danny and the job that he’d done was, you know, couldn’t have been kinder. That was obvious, too, the way Danny was speaking about the coach that he had worked with for nine years. And the fact that Danny has been a coach, he talked about that phase of his career. He has been a general manager, he has been a player. Nobody knew the NBA better.

“So, I figured that if he thought this might work, then he’s got an idea about the league. I’m intrigued by the league, and I was learning more as we talked, but I think the idea that they had had a coach for so long, through a championship run but also some up and down years, was another intriguing part of it.”

So at age 36, Stevens accepted the job, and here we are five years later, with the Celtics on the verge of becoming the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference.

“The flattering part happens and you’re humbled and honored to be called, but then you have to really do your due diligence,” Stevens said. “Does it fit? I thought everybody I talked to that flew to Indiana, and certainly all my time talking to Danny, it seemed like it would fit.”

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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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