Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Cherishes Rare Opportunity to be Hoops ‘Fan’

Tuesday, Jan. 16 - Pelicans at Celtics

Pregame – Stevens Cherishes Rare Opportunity to be Hoops ‘Fan’

BOSTON – As much as Celtics coach Brad Stevens loves the game of basketball, he rarely gets the opportunity to sit down and just watch a game as a "fan." For the most part, basketball is a business for Stevens, just as it is for all of the other coaches around the NBA.

Monday evening was an exception, however, as Stevens was able to take advantage of a Celtics off day by taking a trip down to Rhode Island to catch his beloved Butler Bulldogs take on the Providence Friars.

Stevens, who was on the Butler staff for 12 years, serving six seasons as its head coach, took in the game with Celtics forward and former Bulldog great Gordon Hayward. It was a liberating experience for Stevens, as he was able to for once enjoy basketball in a stress-free manner like an average fan would.

“I really enjoy being at games as a fan,” Stevens reflected Tuesday evening before getting back to business with his Celtics in a matchup against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. “It’s one of the things, I think, when you get into coaching, that you miss about the sport. As you’re going through and watching NBA League Pass every night, you’re looking at it from a tactical standpoint instead of an enjoyment standpoint. So it’s just fun to sit back and be a fan.”

Stevens, who typically expresses little to no emotion on the Celtics’ sideline, came out of his shell during Butler’s 70-60 loss at Dunkin’ Donuts Center by showing a side of himself that rarely surfaces.

“I enjoy cheering,” Stevens said with a smile. “I found myself a little bit more emotionally engaged, probably as far as riding the highs and lows of the game. And I just love sitting and being around it. One of these days that’ll be my seat, and I will thoroughly enjoy it.”

For now, however, Stevens’ days of being a hoops "fan" will be few and far between. Tonight, his focus returns to the business side of basketball, as he takes his perch on Boston’s sideline as his Celtics take on the Pelicans at TD Garden.

- Taylor Snow