Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Friday that he is not considering the head coach vacancy at Indiana University, and issued his strongest denial yet.
“I said it the other day: I’m not considering it,” Stevens said. “And I tried to say it as clearly as I could and also make sure that people understand that this place for me is special. Because I don’t want it to seem like it is not. But, as I said the other day, I am very grateful to this organization and with the people here, and all that they have done for us. I have incredible leadership in Danny, Wyc and Pags, and what they have done for us, the way we have received support … we are having a difficult season , and I think it’s not my job not to go through that. It’s not my job not to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to help find a better version of ourselves this year. “
The Celtics are 20-20 on the season, and are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Stevens, an Indiana native who grew up an hour from Bloomington and spent 12 seasons as an assistant and head coach at Butler, moved to Boston in 2013 when the Celtics needed a replacement for Doc Rivers.
“I love coming to work every day. I love this area,” Stevens continued. “People have been great to us. My family is very happy. And at the same time, home is home. And that’s why I wanted to make sure everyone understood that it means a lot. But no. Like I said Tuesday. , I’m not. So, I don’t know if I’ll have to answer that again on Monday, but I hope people get it. And people can appreciate that it still means a lot to me and I hope they hire whoever they hire and are there for 20 years and kids feel like me. But I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a 44-year-old Ma-hole. I deviate from others when I drive, like Dunkin Donuts and I support the Patriots. Unfortunately, I am biased in many ways , suppose “.
Indiana fired Archie Miller on Monday after four seasons in Bloomington. The Hoosiers failed to make the NCAA tournament during their time in charge and lost six straight games to finish this season, finishing 12-15 overall and 7-12 in the Big Ten.
Due to his ties to the state, Stevens immediately emerged as the dream candidate for the Indiana fan base. When asked earlier this week about it, he said he was “extremely grateful” to be the Celtics coach, but also that it “means a lot” to see the support for him to return to his home state and take over the team. . Hoosiers program.
That did nothing to quell the rumors of the past few days, with the rumor about him weighing the option of leaving the NBA and returning to college. Friday’s remarks should finally put an end to speculation.
Other names linked in recent days to Indiana’s vacancy include former Michigan coach John Beilein, Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, Baylor’s Scott Drew and Arkansas’s Eric Musselman. Nevada coach and Indiana legend Steve Alford is not under consideration, sources told ESPN, while Alabama’s Nate Oats has a purchase north of $ 12 million, taking him off the list.
Beard, Drew and Musselman are training in the NCAA tournament this weekend, and sources have told ESPN that there has been limited contact, at most, with any of the three thus far.
Stevens quietly signed a contract extension, his second since joining the Celtics after his stellar career at Butler University in 2013, on a day off in mid-August during the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, just before the start of the playoffs. The next day Stevens spoke about how important it was for him and his wife, Tracy, to have stability for their family in a profession, coaching, which is usually anything but stable.
“I would say it is obviously an honor and a privilege to coach the Celtics, and we recognize that,” Stevens said. “We have had a really nice experience and there have been so many good days. I felt that we have improved, I felt that we have put ourselves in a position to compete and I hope we continue to do so.
“One of the things that was really important to Tracy and me at all times was that we were going to do this training thing, do our best to be as stable as possible without moving too much. And we’ve been, like, incredibly blessed when You consider 13 years at Butler and now finish seventh year with the Celtics and move on. I think as a coach, you just hope that at some point I end up getting fired or fired. It’s kind of the nature of the business, so I’ve never really focused. I’m just trying to focus on doing the job to the best of my ability. “
Since arriving in Boston, Stevens has established himself as one of the league’s elite coaches, going 338-266 in his more than seven seasons away from the Celtics, including the Eastern Conference finals in three of the last four seasons.
During that span, only the Golden State Warriors have won more playoff games than the Celtics. Stevens is the fifth-longest-serving NBA coach on his current team, behind Gregg Popovich, Eric Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle and Terry Stotts.