Stevens To Say 'Yes' If USA Offers Head Coach Job

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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WALTHAM, Mass. – Brad Stevens unequivocally stated Wednesday afternoon that he would gladly accept an offer to become the next head coach of USA Basketball.

Asked about the potential of being approached for the position, Stevens said, “You say ‘yes’ before they get the question out of their mouths.”

Jerry Colangelo, who is the managing director and chairman of USA Basketball, is the man who would pose such a question. He is in the process of determining a successor for current USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who on Monday told ESPN that the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics will mark the end of his tenure as head coach of the program.

The notion that Stevens, who has been involved with USA Basketball since 2010, is the perfect replacement is quickly gaining momentum.

“[Hiring Stevens] would be amazing,” said Marcus Smart, who has been in the USA Basketball program since he was 17 and is entering his second year with the Celtics. “I respect Brad to the fullest. I think everybody in this league respects Brad and understands how good of a coach he is.”

Respect is only one of the similarities that Stevens shares with Krzyzewski. In fact, Smart’s description of Krzyzewski’s coaching style could easily be mistaken for a description of Stevens’.

“He’s a unique coach,” Smart told Celtics.com. “He doesn’t have to yell. He’s very calm and collected, but he gets his point across. He yells when he needs to, obviously, but he’s so respected. Players respect him and they play their hardest for him.”

So, too, does every player who passes through the Celtics locker room. Such has become Boston’s calling card under Stevens.

Smart went on to compare Stevens to the five-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympics champion.

“Brad is similar in a way that he lets you play your game,” said Smart. “He gives you the green light. He doesn’t try to stop you from doing what you do. He doesn’t try to tell you, ‘This is what you need to do instead of this.’ He lets you play and he lets you be a basketball player. Brad doesn’t really yell that much either unless he has to.”

Smart’s words should not be taken lightly. He is the best source in the world when it comes to a player who has called both Stevens and Krzyzewski his coach at this stage of their careers. His opinion holds credence.

It is also a near-guarantee that anyone in the game of basketball would associate integrity, accountability, reliability, ingenuity, and the ability to stay even-keeled with each coach. This is despite the fact that they are separated by 30 years of age.

Krzyzewski told ESPN that the next coach must be able to “keep the continuity of the program going.” Stevens, who is just 38 years old, would be able to do so for a long, long time.

And the kicker is that he wants it to happen.

Stevens is partial to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It is the reason why he is in Boston.

Multiple programs attempted to pry Stevens away from Butler University during his tenure as the Bulldogs’ head coach. It wasn’t until the Celtics came calling that he truly considered leaving his former post.

It was a special opportunity – one he couldn’t pass up.

“First of all: The Boston Celtics. Like… wow,” Stevens said at his introductory press conference with the 17-time world champions. “That is an incredible feeling. It’s an incredible honor.”

No greater honor exists in the game of basketball than to represent your country in an attempt to bring home a gold medal. It is as special as it gets.

The fit appears to be perfect. Stevens, in many ways, is a younger version of Krzyzewski who is capable of maintaining the culture within the USA Basketball program. And he has already said ‘yes’ to the position in a public forum.

What remains to be seen is whether or not he'll be able to utter that decisive word while cutting off his friend, Jerry Colangelo.