Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens was introduced to the public as a player for the Boston Celtics on June 5, 2007. The same day, he was hired by Boston as their new assistant coach. He had previously played for the Celtics during the 2003-2004 season where he spent six seasons as a player before being released by Boston on June 15, 2007.
The Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens is the only person who has ever held the title of President of Basketball Operations for an NBA team. Stevens’ role at the Celtics is different than most other GMs’, as he leads basketball operations, but is not directly responsible for overseeing daily business operations. The day-to-day operations are handled by Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge. While it may seem odd to have a President of Basketball Operations, the Cs are beginning to reap the benefits of having a President of Basketball Operations. The Celtics have made their next step in improving their aging roster with the addition of Kyrie Irving.
Brad Stevens needed some time to get used to his new position with the Boston Celtics. Stevens took over as President of Basketball Operations after Danny Ainge stepped down in early June. The Celtics have had a busy summer, and Stevens described his first few weeks in his new role as “like sipping from a fire hose.”
After an abysmal 2020-21 season, Brad Stevens took over for Danny Ainge.
On June 1, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics reacts against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of the First Round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. | Getty Images/Steven Ryan
Stevens coached the Celtics for eight seasons, accumulating a regular-season record of 354-282. In the playoffs, he was 38-40. Stevens’ most disappointing season may have been the 2020-21 season, when Boston finished 36-36. It happened a year after they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With two young all-stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics spent much of the year hovering around.500 before settling in. Frustration grew throughout the season, with former point guard Kemba Walker claiming that the squad wasn’t giving it their best every night.
Brown also expressed his displeasure after a humiliating early-season defeat. Brown was asked whether he was pleased with the team’s ball movement by a reporter. Brown pondered for a moment before responding with a flat “no remark.”
The situation became so bad throughout the season that Ainge went on a Boston radio station and claimed responsibility for the team’s failures. He said that the roster he put together was insufficient. After 18 years as the Celtics’ general manager, Ainge stepped down after the season.
Brad Stevens said that the first few weeks in his new position were difficult.
The Celtics’ fortunes shifted rapidly after the Brooklyn Nets eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs. Ainge stepped down as President of Basketball Operations, and Stevens took over immediately. Stevens described how difficult his new job was at first to WEEI on Tuesday during the NESN-WEEI Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.
“In the first month, there was a lot of angst,” he added. “Even with the change, I had the least amount since everyone in the building is going through a transition, and my coaching staff may or may not be kept.
“However, as individuals have discovered their potential and settled into how we operate and collaborate, it has been a huge struggle. It was like drinking from a fire hose for the first couple of weeks, and then it tapered down.”
Stevens finally made himself at home. One of the first duties he had was to find a successor for himself. Ime Udoka, a Nets assistant who is well regarded as a players’ coach, was called in to manage the show.
Kemba Walker was a difficult trade for Stevens.
Stevens jumped straight into his new job, bringing in Udoka and trading Walker. Walker was a fan favorite, but he was allegedly enraged by the front office’s attempt to move him during the season. Stevens subsequently made the decision to trade Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in order to gain some financial freedom. The transaction that brought back Al Horford, an old buddy.
Stevens said, “Trading Kemba straight away was not pleasant, and it was not an easy thing to do.” “But clearly, getting Al back and some of the things that gave us the chance to accomplish here, as we attempt to build toward the scenario, was simply part of it.”
The greatest difficulty so far has been dealing with former players and the pay limit.
Stevens said, “The wage limit is no joke.” “And as much as I’ve been around it for the last eight years, I’m very fortunate to have folks working here — Mike Zarrens, Austin Ainges, and everyone else in our front office that does a fantastic job.”
By extending Robert Williams and Marcus Smart, Stevens has established some flexibility. He also acquired Josh Richardson via a trade and subsequently signed him to a contract extension. Only time will tell how successful Stevens has been so far.
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