The Boston Celtics chose Brad Stevens, in an absolutely shocking move, to be the iconic franchise’s new head coach signing him to a 6-year contract worth $22 million dollars.
The 36-year-old Stevens will be the youngest coach in the NBA. He was previously the head man at Butler University and led the Bulldogs to back to back NCAA championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011.
Stevens was very successful turning Butler into a relevant basketball program. There’s no telling how good of a coach Stevens will be in the NBA. He may be an unbelievable coach, and he may not be very successful. Rick Pitino and John Calipari both experimented in the NBA before jumping back into the college game.
Stevens now takes over one of the most storied teams in all of sports, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics though, are in a transition period after trading Doc Rivers to the Clippers, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets. Not much is going to be expected of the Celtics which is part of the reason why Brad Stevens has nothing to lose.
If Stevens fails with the Celtics, it will have a negative effect on him, but it’s not like there won’t be jobs lining up for him. There isn’t a college team in the country that wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to sign Stevens if and when he becomes available again. Those same programs would be very willing to pay Stevens a hefty amount as well.
Rick Pitino failed with the Knicks and ironically with the Celtics. He had jobs waiting for him back in the college ranks. There is more money to be made in the NBA for quality coaches, and if Stevens succeeds, he will make significantly more than he would have if he had stayed in college.
John Calipari failed with the Nets, then had a job at the University of Memphis for 9 seasons before joining Kentucky in 2009.
Stevens could hypothetically go 0-82, leave the Celtics, and sign a huge contract with any college team in the county. He’s not looking at it like that though. Stevens wants to be a great coach, and his work ethic and ability to take not as good of talent and build winners are excellent qualities to have.
A core of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, MarShon Brooks, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk isn’t too bad. But if Stevens fails, it will be a small blemish on his resume.