As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed Wednesday, July 3, afternoon, I had do a double-check when I saw a Tweet from the Butler Men’s Basketball feed.
Certainly the message I had just read, “Breaking News: Brad Stevens To Take Boston Celtics Coaching Position” had to be a typo. But as I refreshed my feed and saw the numerous Tweets, then ESPN reports, come piling in it seemed the reports were true — Zionsville native Brad Stevens was no longer the coach of my favorite college basketball team.
My initial feeling was to be hurt. How, could the coach that led my Alma Mater to unprecedented heights for a “Mid-Major” school leave us high and dry right when the school was making the transition to the powerhouse Big East Conference? Stevens had, just two days before, been all over Indianapolis promoting the move to the bigger, university changing move.
But after about 15 minutes of texting back-and-forth with some of my college friends, two more thoughts came into my mind: First, Butler has gone through big coaching changes before and while Stevens was possibly the best coach I have ever seen, will survive. Second, the opportunity couldn’t have happened to a better person.
Coaching in the NBA has to be, at some level, every basketball coach’s dream. Although, Stevens told ESPN Friday that he had “never had long-term goals” about where he would end up coaching someday, it is the goal for most every person to achieve the highest level of their chosen profession. And it being the Boston Celtics, arguably the most prestigious organization in basketball (and if not THE best, one of a select few), the decision is pretty much a no-brainer in my book.
It will be a challenge for sure. The Celtics have traded away two of their top players in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and another — point guard Rajon Rondo — is coming off an ACL injury.