Your Morning Dump… Where Brad Stevens is like a mini Zen master | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where Brad Stevens is like a mini Zen master

jackson stevens

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. 

Stevens, who likes to recommend reading for his players — Rajon Rondo’s favorite is a book tellingly called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” — has a mental file of quotations that support his approach.

“We used to say, and I don’t know whose quote this is, that one of the consequences of not doing the little things is that you realize there are no little things,” Stevens said recently. “That’s true. In basketball it’s really true, and when you’re playing a team that’s supposed to beat you on paper because of talent, it’s really true.”

Stevens won’t say he’s asking his players to think about the game differently, but depending on the player, that may be happening

Herald:  Stevens wants Celtics to be word processors

I know some people are going to hate the comparison to Phil Jackson because they think he’s a fraud or some other thing like that, but you don’t just win a bucket full of rings if you’re a fraud.  We’ve seen first hand the boundless egos which he’s had to deal with (Jordan, Kobe, Shaq), and he managed to make it work. Is he Red Auerbach?  No.  Red build franchises and then went out and won with them.   But Jackson’s ability to make gigantic egos fit and work is pretty good.

Which is where the comparison to Stevens comes in.  Stevens and Jackson don’t seem to have the same personalities at all, but their psychological game seems to be very similar.  It’s all about probing players’ minds and finding the right buttons to push to get them on board with you.

Stevens seems to have done so immediately with Rajon Rondo, and he’s getting a lot of these other guys on board with his motivational quotes and reading assignments. He’s challenging these guys to get out of their comfort zones (or in same cases, find a comfort zone), and see things from different perspectives.

As usual, sports mirrors life.  And we all know the guy at work that’s been doing his job for 20 years, is totally comfortable doing it one way, and is totally unwilling to change it.  That person doesn’t help the whole team, which is trying to function in 2013, not 1993 when cell phones looked like this.

Well, a lot of these guys have been doing the same basketball things for a long time, with people telling them how great they are for a long time.  There’s nothing wrong with challenging them to see things just a bit differently.  Sometimes, a little mental adjustment will help as much, or more, than any physical tweaks.

The rest of the links:

Globe:  After corporate detour, Brad Stevens was drawn back to basketball (part 2 of a 3-part series)  |  CSNNE:  Humphries fighting for time in C’s frontcourt  |  ESPN Boston:  Assist/Turnover ration in focus  |  Early season rotation in focus  |  Starting 5 is anyone’s guess 


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  • Slap Dog Hoops

    I think that it is pretty early to be calling him a ” mini” Ohil Jackson considering that he has yet to even play a game.

    • KGino

      If you read carefully they were only comparing their mental approach, not their success on the court

      • Slap Dog Hoops

        I still not think it appropriate, however–gassing up a guy who as history has proven will most likely fail. He has never coached in the NBA and neither has the leverage or the credentials to relate with today’s NBA player.

        • Philip Sampson

          Your missing the point again @slap dog hoops. …its a topic for us to mull over and feel more connected to brad Stevens mentality. Try not to always think of things being A or B….be mind full 😉

        • wil

          like saying a guy is gonna fail when the season hasnt even started yet?

          kinda ironic isnt it?

    • Curt Hays

      People are compared to one another ALL THE TIME. Analogy is a device used by all writers/consultants/readers to try to formulate a perspective. Chill the eff out.
      In other news, Brad Stevens is the new Red Auerbach combined with Phil Jackson and Apple Pie!

  • NE_Celt

    Just gotta say…that graphic you used…gave me a good chuckle
    to start my Monday haha.

    I agree there are some similarities that can be made in regards to their mentality and dealing with players, so far. I think the real question will come halfway through the season when they will most likely be losing more games than winning, and if the frustrations of the players can still be corralled by Stevens. Just from seeing him so far I don’t think he will snap or lose his cool but players that are used to winning or getting played a certain amount of minutes could start unraveling.

    But of course, I hope that everything starts to click, Stevens success at Butler crosses over to NBA coaching, Wallace has a bounce back year, KO is rookie of the year, Rondo comes back healthy and fits into Stevens system flawlessly, Pressey becomes a reliable backup point guard, Sully improves upon what we some from him last year, and El Hombre Indestructible becomes a solid center…oh, and Jordan Crawford gets traded.

    • eddysamson

      I’d rather see Lee traded.

      • NE_Celt

        I cant completely argue with that trade either…I really wanted to see Lee turn it around…but he is still suckin it up.

        • David Lelli

          Even worse, Jeff Green is still suckin it up. And he has to be a star if we’re ever going to be a good team.

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  • Curt Hays

    Does it make me a fan-boy if I immediately purchased that book on the Kindle? Does it cause a problem that Stevens has, in effect, publicly endorsed a book when it seemed that he was trying not to?

    • imshak

      Actually Stevens wouldn’t name the book, RR only did the other day in the surprise presser. @RedsLoveChild, seeing as you weren’t there, you don’t know if Phil/Spolstra recommend books to those guys, in fact you don’t know anything other than what they tell “you”. Did the writer say they were EXACTLY the same in the first place? No!

  • RedsLoveChild

    Phil Jackass {along with his psycho-babble/reading assignments} is pure bullshit. It`s all a marketing ploy, designed to “brand” himself in order to make millions as an author and corporate motivational speaker.

    Ever once hear MJ, Pippen, Shaq. Kobe praise Jackson for recommending a book that changed their lives, or the way they approached life?

    Coaches win NBA titles because of the talent on the floor.

    Phil Jackson never won a damn thing as the “underdog”. Spoelstra, Popovich have won multiple titles w/o recommending books to LeBron or Duncan.

  • CFH

    That graphic is truly frightening. Well done.