Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Ecstatic to Earn Extension

Thursday, August 13 - Wizards at Celtics

Pregame – Stevens Ecstatic to Earn Contract Extension

Before leaving for the NBA bubble in Florida, Brad Stevens and his family received some exciting news from Celtics ownership: that they would be extending his contract as Boston’s head coach. On Wednesday afternoon, that news became official, as Boston’s seventh-year coach signed an undisclosed extension, assuring his extended stay with the organization.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to coach the Celtics and we recognize that,” Stevens said Thursday morning on behalf of himself and his family. “We’ve had a really enjoyable experience and there have been so many good days. I felt like we’ve gotten better, I’ve felt like we’ve put ourselves in position to compete, and hopefully we’ll continue to do so.”

It takes a special person to lead such a historic team, and the Celtics front office believes that Stevens is the perfect one to do so. He’s proven such during his six-plus seasons at the helm, leading the team to six playoff berths and a pair of trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s also compiled a regular-season record of 318-245, which places him fourth all-time in wins among the 17 head coaches in franchise history.

“Brad is one of the most intelligent and hard-working coaches in the game today,” said President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “More importantly, his character and integrity have contributed to a culture that we all highly value here. Brad is a great teammate, and a leader people want to follow. We are honored to have him with us as we continue to pursue our next championship.”

Nowadays, it’s unusual to see a head coach last as long with one organization as Stevens has. The position is a revolving door in this league, proven by the fact that exactly half of the NBA’s head coaches have held their post for no more than two full seasons.

To earn such stability is extremely difficult, and Stevens is thankful to have done so with the Celtics.

“One of the things that was really important to (my wife) Tracy and I all the way through was that if we were going to do this coaching thing, to try our best to make it as stable as possible without moving too much,” Stevens said. “And we’ve been incredibly blessed when you consider 13 years at Butler, and now finishing the seventh year with the Celtics and moving on. I think in coaching, you just expect it to end at some point by being let go or by being fired; it’s just kind of the nature of the business. But I’ve never really focused on that. I’ve just focused on doing the job as well as I can.

“I appreciate who I work with. I appreciate the players, the staff, and for me, after now, being a head coach for 13 years, I think it’s even more about what can we do to help our staff get to where they want to go, and what can we do to help every single player who comes through here feel like they’ve improved and ultimately have a fulfilling experience as a professional player. And if you do those things, you usually have pretty good teams and hopefully can achieve something.”

Celtics ownership has made it evident over the years that they have the utmost faith in Stevens helping the team to achieve its 18th championship. They understand that there will be obstacles along the way, but it’s clear to them that Stevens is developing this team into a special product. Such was also apparent when they signed him to his previous extension four years ago.

“The last time I signed an extension,” Stevens recalled that Celtics Lead Owner and Governor Wyc Grousbeck “actually came in the day after we got beat by 30 and said we’d like you to sign an extension. I just think that speaks to the ability of everyone in those positions to not ride the rollercoaster of emotions that sometimes we all get caught up with in this sporting world. Can we do our best? Can we give everything we have to be the best that we can be? Can we be committed to growth? That’s all we’re trying to do, and we hope that our goals are such that we’d love to compete for championships and do so regularly. And we think the best path to do that is to be very committed to growth.”

In being committed to growth, the Celtics are committed to Stevens as their head coach. It’s clear that he has them headed in the right direction, and therefore they’ll continue to ride with him at the helm for many years to come.

- Taylor Snow

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