It’s been almost a full calendar year since Danny Ainge and the Celtics stunned the basketball world by hiring Brad Stevens from Butler University. He’s only been here one full NBA season, although has not even gone through the draft process yet. However, that doesn’t keep his name from being rumored as a possible replacement for Coach K at Duke:
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
If Duke goes outside of the “family,” look for Stevens to be at the top of the list. No one on this list has accomplished more, and it’s not even close. Sure, Boy Wonder has been in Boston for only one year, but who knows what can happen in the NBA? Let’s say, for argument’s sake, he doesn’t get it done in the next few years with the Celtics. Krzyzewski has a ton of respect for Stevens and could try to persuade him to take over if Stevens isn’t winning enough in the league.
I’m hardly shocked that Jeff Goodman would be the one to write this. I’m even less shocked that there is a picture of Stevens, looking frustratingly at Rondo with the caption of “If Stevens doesn’t succeed in Boston…” It’s no secret that Goodman loathes Rondo and was questioning Stevens for taking the C’s job. Goodman also thinks the C’s should trade Rondo because of his “attitude problems” and replace him by drafting Marcus Smart. Right, no attitude problems there.
The point is, you’ll likely hear Stevens’ name in rumors like this mainly because he was such a successful NCAA coach. But Stevens is big on the mindset theory, especially the “growth mindset.” Speaking during the Butler commencement earlier this month, he even described himself as having transformed from the “fixed mindset” (i.e. focusing on simply getting good grades and praise) into the “growth mindset” (i.e. wanting to be challenged by difficult situations, wanting to learn instead of just wanting praise). Everything Stevens has done thus far here has been along that path, so it would be surprising to see him leave his contract early, at by his choice.
Would taking the Duke job be a challenge? Sure. But staying the course here and turning this Celtics team around into a contender again when you’ve had zero professional experience before seems like the bigger challenge to the “growth mindset” to me. I expect Stevens to stay the duration of his contract, just like I expect to read rumors like this as well.