Brad Stevens points as he coaches on the court

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Discusses Relationship with Pop

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Friday, April 30 - Spurs at Celtics

Pregame – Stevens Discusses Relationships with Popovich, Hammon

Brad Stevens spoke more about the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff during Friday’s pregame than he did about his own team.

Boston’s coach was asked multiple questions about the Spurs’ staff prior to the teams’ 7:30 p.m. matchup at TD Garden. The longest answer he gave was about legendary Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Stevens discussed Pop’s character and revealed that he has reached out to the five-time champion multiple times for advice.

“He’s a great human being,” Stevens said of Popovich. “He’s a guy that you can reach out to and ask his advice, and you obviously sit on every word that he says. I’ve done that several times over the last few years, and I don’t know him great either, although we see each other occasionally. But he always answers. And he always is willing to lend a hand.”

Stevens said that Popovich’s greatness extends well beyond the Xs and Os on the basketball court.

“He’s got a great way with his team, his people and his organization, and then obviously he’s got terrific perspective, and I think he’s able to share that perspective and lead,” sais Stevens. “I have nothing but great things to say about him, nothing but the utmost respect for him.”

Stevens also has a high level of respect for San Antonio’s most famous assistant coach, Becky Hammon.

Hammon joined the Spurs as an assistant for the 2015-16 season and has built a strong reputation around the league ever since. Stevens was asked about the potential of a woman such as Hammon becoming a head coach in the league before giving the following answer.

“I think there’s several really qualified candidates and Becky obviously is a terrific candidate,” he said. “I don’t know her well, but I know what people think about her, and I know how well she’s respected all across the league by players and the coaches. I would hope that that time is coming very soon.”

For now, she’s an assistant under Popovich who is game-planning to take down the Celtics tonight. And while Stevens respects the heck out of both of them, he’d like to deliver them a loss tonight.

- Marc D'Amico

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