Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
There will be much talk about “how he will handle Rajon Rondo” and “will he be able to get through to Rondo.” But all this discussion presupposes a claim we have not purchased — that Rondo is clinically impaired and fated to destroy both himself and his team. We’ll grant you the evidence from anger-related suspensions, but the larger problem is that Rondo may be too bright for his own good at times.
The belief then is that Stevens will get along just fine with his point guard if he shows that he is able to put him in positions to succeed. That is, of course, the same way it works with everyone else. Players listen to coaches who prove they know what they’re talking about.
I can’t say that I’m shocked by the immediate reaction about Rondo and his relationship with Stevens. But those two paragraphs from Steve Bulpett capture my feelings pretty well.
Rondo has shown a history of getting angry. We’ve heard how many times he gets mad at himself, and allows that to spill over to other things. It spawned one of Doc’s better known lines: “get past mad.” But assuming Rondo will instantly have a problem with Brad Stevens assumes Rondo is hateful and intent on bringing the team down.
If that’s what you believe, then I feel bad for you. I don’t think Rondo has ever demonstrated that kind of behavior.
My personal belief is in line with Bulpett’s here. And I believe this from watching Rondo over his career, and how he responds to people’s questions. I think Rondo respects basketball knowledge. Like Steve says, he’s “too bright for his own good.”
I kind of see Rondo as “Sheldon” from “The Big Bang Theory.” He’s a genius who is derisive and condescending to people until he finds someone he sees and an equal. Then he opens up and gets excited. They both even wear the same kinds of off beat T-Shirts.
I’m sure Rondo will test Stevens. And I’m sure Stevens will test Rondo at times too. If Stevens is truly into the advanced analytics, that may have a certain appeal to Rondo.
The bottom line is… “Players listen to coaches who prove they know what they’re talking about.” Rondo will be no different.
There is also apparently a good reason that no one saw this coming. If your only actual target is the coach of a team almost no one will talk about when discussing college basketball, it’s a little easier to keep quiet.
According to a source familiar with this process, Stevens’ patience is a virtue for which Ainge was looking.
And the search did not take long.
One source told the Herald that the 36-year-old was Ainge’s singular target from the moment the Celtics closed the deal last Sunday to let Doc Rivers out of his contract so he could sign with the Clippers.
“He was their guy. I think Danny got to know him over the last few years,” the source said. “They’ve got a lot of work to do, and they need someone who can develop talent. I think they feel (Stevens) can do that, and there won’t be a lot of extracurricular noise while it’s happening.”
Now, though, we’re starting to get some other little tidbits…. like Ainge talking to Brian Scalabrine about it.
Before securing Stevens’ interest and commitment to Boston’s head-coaching job, Ainge talked informally about the position with popular former Celtic Brian Scalabrine, sources told Y! Sports.
Ainge believes Scalabrine — who is strongly considering an assistant coaching job with the Golden State Warriors — has a future in coaching and talked in broad terms about the job with him, sources said. Nothing ever advanced to a formalized interview, though.
He also spoke to Jay Larranaga.
the two sat down on a couple of occasions recently to discuss the head-coaching job, sources said. Before leaving for the Los Angeles Clippers, Rivers had given Larranaga a strong endorsement for Boston’s head coaching job, sources said. Ainge and Suns GM Ryan McDonough — a Celtics assistant GM this past season — each believe Larranaga is a future head coach in the NBA.
After playing overseas for 12 years, Larranaga has one year experience in the NBA with the Celtics and two successful seasons as an NBA D-League head coach on his resume. He’ll coach the Celtics summer-league entry in Orlando, and Ainge may still try to convince him to stay on Stevens’ staff despite a standing offer to join Rivers with the Clippers, sources said.
I guess they didn’t think Larranaga was ready. Or they wanted a fresh perspective rather than someone with ties to the old system. Regardless, the reaction to Stevens has been very positive. I’m might even call it overwhelmingly so.
I like it. I’m not sure if it will work out, but I’m thrilled to get some new blood in the NBA coaching ranks. It’s going to be interesting, to say the least.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Celtics go young, call on Brad Stevens | Stevens goes from mid-major, to major leagues | Globe: Stevens’ move surprises Bulldogs | Ainge’s hire of Stevens a great one | 5 truths about the Stevens hire | CSNNE: Is Stevens the long-term answer in Boston? | Surprise! It’s Brad Stevens | Brad Stevens’ resume | How will Rondo react to the hiring of Stevens? | Blakely: C’s hope this college kid is ready | Blakely: How will Stevens fit in as coach? | ESPN Boston: New direction | Age nothing but a number for Stevens | Video: Katz on Stevens hiring | WEEI: C’s announce Brad Stevens hiring | MWDN: Brad-ical change as C’s hire Stevens