Celtics Shock(er)! Hire Butler’s Stevens



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Danny Ainge is good at coming up with the move none of us saw coming. But he outdid himself with his latest move, hiring Butler’s Brad Stevens to replace Doc Rivers as his coach and positioning the college coaching star as the man who will have to serve as the brave face as the franchise’s ambitious rebuilding project.

The hire was announced simultaneously by the Celtics and Butler via Twitter, which has to be the first time a team has unveiled its new coach in that matter. But this is Ainge we’re talking about. He’s used to delivering fireworks this time of year, one way or another.

There’s no debating the jaw-dropping aspect of this hire. It’s a complete shocker. (Please forgive the cynic in me for remembering the last time the Celtics hired a superstar from the college ranks, Rick Pitino, and remembering what a disaster that turned out to be.)

That said, Stevens comes with a sterling reputation. He’s got the professor look down, knows the game inside out and has said and done all of the right things during his meteoric rise from a somewhat unknown coach of a mid-major program to one of the hottest names in the coaching game after leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament championship game twice.

There will be a flood of well-wishers, folks who love what Stevens, 36, stands for, applauding this hire. And will once again be lauded for taking a huge risk that could end up paying huge dividends. And he deserves props for making his usual bold foray into a place 99.9 percent of his peers never would.

And there’s no pressure Brad, not when Ainge makes statements like these about his new coach.

“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” Ainge said in a statement. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him towards Banner 18.”

But if you’re Rajon Rondo, the best player on the Celtics’ roster, this is yet another tough pill to swallow. Everything you’ve known the past six seasons, all of the winning and deep playoff runs you made with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, all of the heights that have been reached … it’s all history. The scariest part for Rondo and Celtics fans is that it only took Ainge a week and a half to break it all apart.

They basically traded Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future Draft pick two days before the Draft, moved Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for a gumbo of players and picks on Draft night and now this. The only thing left to do is to figure out what they can get for Rondo and make that move.

Because even if Ainge swears that Rondo is not on the move, that he will not part with his All-Star point guard (who is coming off a season cut short by a torn ACL), no one is going to believe it, not with the expeditious manner in which Ainge has executed all of these other moves.

He’s keen on rebuilding and rebuilding now for a future he believes will just as bright as the Celtics’ recent past.

Who knows where he goes next?

I’m prepared to be shocked.

50 Comments

  1. Dutch_Lakerfan says:

    2014 Will be a great draftyear, and a pretty decent free agent year. The way I see it the Celtics are gonna bomb it next season for great draft picks and going to load up for championship in 2015

  2. Gabriel says:

    First, Pierce should stay in Boston, he could be like Bird and only play for the Celtics, like Kobe does in Los Angeles… Now, Rondo and Green can take the Celtics to the playoffs, if Rondo take the responsability, and Jeff Green is amazing, all he needs is the chance to proove he can be an all star, look at his 43 points against heat this year, and how he played on the playoffs. But I still think the team needs a scoring guard, like Tyreke Evans, to become a star as a celtic, but if it’s not possible, then hire a great center to play with Rondo, and so that Boston and the new coach will be able to try to beat Miami. ( Pacers almost did it, because of Paul George and Roy Hibbert; Jeff Green is almost as good as George and with a good center + Rondo, we can do it! Let’s go Celtics!

  3. Steiny's World says:

    Love this hire and Stevens is an excelent choice for this retoolment think of this as a possible Coach K scenario in Boston if they are will to stay the course and learn from each others mistakes cuase they have to be some in order to grow and I think they are thats why he was given 6 years to allow him the flexibility to make an impression by year 4 without any pressure on what may be early year failures if any but the guy can make X’s and O’s with the best of them with the talent he gets around him and if history is any indication how success is made (Bulls, Lakers, Spurs, Celtics of Old) is throught a system and here is a chance to build one not to win now but in the future and keep on winning like the Spurs and Lakers has Done in the 80′s, 90′s and 2000 +

  4. justan says:

    lets not forget what Jeff Green can do

  5. Dean says:

    You trade Rondo for a very simple reason. This team has lost ALL of it’s primary scorers, Rondo is NOT a scorer. Someone who wants to be paid max, is injured, not very young, and can’t score more than 12 ppg is someone they NEED to trade. If they actually want a chance at getting a good draft pick they need to trade him. If Rondo had maybe the chance of nearing 20 ppg it would be a different story. But this team looks like a mess right now, especially with Gerald Wallace coming in with 3 years and $30 million left on his contract. Anybody else remember how much BETTER this team played without Rondo, KG waived his no trade clause for a reason, this team is done. The only players left salvaging would be Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Jeff Green, Sullinger, Olynyk, and maybe Terrence Williams. I wouldn’t mind seeing Rondo traded for a draft pick, and then try to sign Brandon Jennings next summer, say what you want but he can score and that’s what Boston needs.

  6. Ace83 says:

    @celtics, the only reason KG and PP still appear in the roster is because their trade has not been signed off as official yet, so technically they are still with Boston for the time being. Draft picks are completely separate from the free agent period, that’s why those two guys are already listed on the team.

  7. ko0kiE says:

    I know the Celtics wanna be in position for a high pick in the 2014 draft, but I’m not quite sure If they are bad enough for the eastern conference bottom with rondo and green..just mediocre. and you sure don’t wanna be stuck in the middle..

  8. Ron says:

    Ainge was smart pulling of all these deals, just think he should have traded Pierce and Garnett two seasons ago and he probably would have gotting more for them. I applaude Doc for agreeing to be traded to LA for draft pics, without him agreeing Boston would still be stuck with fading players past there primes.

  9. Dom says:

    RONDO IS NOT LEAVING. REPEAT. RONDO IS NOT LEAVING. How long before you get that stuck in your head, Smith?

  10. If Doc Rivers was so Good for the Celtics Organisation why Did you let him to leave for someone who has no experience in NBA coaching ?

  11. wow says:

    >>Could be a good move. Stevens is adept at coaching young players.

    this is rookie coach, he never played or coached in the nba… so how can he prepare young players for something that he doesn’t know/understand?

  12. telcontar77 says:

    Mediocrity, here we come!

  13. J says:

    good move I suppose
    rondo is going to go when ainge wants him to go prob soon its definetley happening

  14. Click this name if you want to be totally awesome says:

    How about surrounding Rondo with D Howard, Roy Hibbert, Marcin Gortat and Omer Asik? Just lob and WIN!

  15. IAMIDIOT says:

    BEFORE THE ALL STAR NEXT YEAR,

    AINGE YOUR FIRED!
    HEY! KID ( I mean Coach your fired!!)

    CELTICS THE NEW BOBCATS NEXT SEASON

  16. celtics says:

    KG and Paul Pierce are going no where. the deal with the nets has not been confirmed yet and if you go to the Celtics website if you click roster its going to to show the next season roster and if you look bellow the pictures Garnett and Pierce are there also kelly olynyk is there and colton iverson the two new rookies

  17. atomicmiler says:

    Rondo is leaving and if isn’t thinking about leaving he should be; let this SAD organization go on with there plans as they’ve shown so far in their mediocre draft pick in Kelly Olynyk and even sadder coaching choice in Brad Stevens

  18. Olegre10 says:

    Danny Ainge – one can’t help it but admire his courage and acumen. The Cs will let Rondo fully recover with no rush whatsoever while the new coach Bradley acclimatize and builds the foundation for the 2014 draft. I hope the vast majority of the Cs fans can and will accept this challenge. And hopefully Mr. Bradley will find the way with Green, who is clearly a star swingman, who hardly believes himself a Celtics man and who might not have the patience to wait for a year in transition

  19. Todd says:

    Coach Stevens was probably one of the smarter choices, his basketball IQ is through the roof, he builds his team on toughness and traditional play calling, and he is smart enough to control Rondo, Rondo may have been put in a bad position, but with Coach Stevens at the wheel, they are going places, He took a team with the best players being Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack to the championship, and you are telling me that he can’t create something out of nothing?

  20. pokie says:

    Rondo is gone.

  21. KG5 says:

    KG and Pierce were destined to retire as Celtics… I can’t believe Boston kicked them off the ship because they’re getting old. Why don’t give them the dignity to retire as Celtics??? Pak the Celtics! Allen was right!

  22. Tyler durden says:

    The problem is our team isnt bad enough yet. We’ve still got a roster that will make the playoffs next year with ease. We will win most of our games with defence alone. And the draft picks we’ve got next year won’t be high enough to improve the team! We need to shed overblown contracts eg. Wallace! And sign a big star in free agency next year;or even this year.

  23. mike says:

    Lol…when Ray Allen left and when to Miami everyone and their Momma said he was wrong for turning his back on the big three and the Boston Celtics…Now look at it…now Garnet and Pierce are no more good ship the old guys off and rebuild…
    I never blamed RAY ALLEN for looking out for himself. In this business teams don’t care about you… when they’re done with you they’lll be selfish themselves…

  24. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    If Chris Paul is smart, he’ll accept slightly lesser pay to dish to the best 1-2 combination: KD and Russ.

    • This Guy says:

      Bro you’re totally right. Then OKC can trade Thabo Sefolosha for Kyrie Irving to come off the bench and then sign Dwight and Lebron. After that get Poppovich and Doc to come coach. Its totally realistic. This totally isnt sarcasm at all.

  25. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Sekou Smith may want to prepare to be “shocked” when Chris Paul signs with the OKC Thunder!!

    The best team for Chris Paul (short run and long run) is the Thunder.

    I hope Chris Paul’s “tweet” isn’t necessarily a commitment to re-sign with the Clippers. We want the next 10 Championships and we want Chris Paul to be a part of all of it. With Paul in OKC, we will dominate the NBA for years!

    Twitter stinks. Chris Paul is testing the market seeing what the Clippers will offer him (which isn’t much) if he wants NBA World Championships.

    • klf says:

      Paul resigned with the clips on monday,5 yrs 107 million

      • you just went full retarc says:

        have you heard of a salary cap? logic? Russell Westbrook? and 10 championships? my god you have to be the most delusional nba fan I have ever seen. we can all dream, but only post it if it has even the slightest of chances mate. this story can go on the shelf with vampires and unicorns because it has just as little chance of being real as them

    • Ian Appleseed says:

      Joshua Greenfarb, go home you’re drunk.

  26. Sports says:

    Rondo is part of the rebuilding team. Why would you trade him.

  27. M. Dalgart says:

    Re. Boston Celtics New Coach selection. Although I respect Butler’s Brad Stevens accomplishments,
    previous higher rated College Coaches in the past who was ranked much higher, none had succeeded in the NBA.
    Dealing with Egos is hard enough, but getting the respect from NBA Players has never been easy for former
    College Coaches. Just like adjustments that College players goes through being Drafted to the NBA,
    as a Coach, that adjustment is much different. Motivate “NBA Millionaires”, is quite different than College Players…

  28. Kimmy says:

    I’m speechless…….

  29. BHMules says:

    And Rondo isn’t going anywhere, don’t know what this Sekou Smith’s deal is

  30. BHMules says:

    This was a great hire

  31. Bu says:

    In a rebuilding situation with young players coming in, you need a different kind of coach not like Rivers, Pop who has & in better position to coach mature & championship calibre teams. I still remember Rick Pitino coaching the Knicks with young Mark Jackson & the rest of the team. For Stevens, he has a great winning record & probably has strong enough X’s &O’s & defensive system to attract Ainge.

    The important thing is, this guy is young & probably hungry to make a name for himself & achieve something in the NBA. You don’t want to bring in some old guy with loads of track record & experience but without energy & will to grow & learn.

    So Ainge has essentially written off the next 2-3 years & hopefully they get a good pick in 2014, to have a new core to build the next championship calibre team.

  32. i laugh out loud! says:

    All the people who hated on Ray for leaving for less money, when he was on the chopping block for two years before if ainge could get rid of him….. NOW he blows the rest apart. Ainge has been and always will be Celtics liability…..

    • John Sabin says:

      Are you kidding? Ainge put that team together. They were nothing until he pulled the blockbuster deals to make them championship conternders. Now he is dismantling an old team and rebuilding instead of being mediocre. Danny has a lot on the ball, you have to give him credit for guts and acumen.

      • Wondering says:

        But you sir must have forgotten that Ainge is also the one that cost the Celtic’s another chance at a title, by giving up the best center the team had at the moment for a player who was having heart surgery and was not going to be able to play for another year.

      • CeltFan says:

        If Perkins was so great, why hasn’t OKC won a championship. Watching OKC Perkins is a liability.

  33. Jet says:

    Could be a good move. Stevens is adept at coaching young players. Which is great given the extra draft picks the C’s have over the next three years. At best, the Celtics can really tank this year and nab Parker or Wiggins with their pick and another young gun using the pick they get ftrom Brooklyn.

  34. First says:

    Meh.

  35. aaaaaa says:

    Rondo’s not going anywhere. Doc wanted to leave and KG and Paul are on their ways out. He did the right thing with them. Why let them retire and get nothing when you can trade them and at least get something out of them leaving, and what’s the point of having a coach who doesn’t want to be there? Rondo on the other hand, even though coming off his injury, is in his prime and still has a bright future ahead of him. There’s no way Danny gets rid of that kind of talent, he’s smarter than that.

    • amitpal says:

      Rondo is great and all but with rondo boston will be a mediocre team. Not good enough to be a good playoff team but not bad enough to get the number 1 or two pick in the draft. Right now ainge has two choices, convense trade rondo for a younger future star, or try to convense him to take the year off to fully heal his injury.

      • Frans says:

        I think the Celtics will have a good season. Rondo will be the floor leader without KG and Pierce. He will thrive with this new role and responsibility. And I like the rest of the roster too. Wallace and Greene are two of most athletic forwards, who can play in a very fast pace. Bradley can stop almost every guard and heck even Humpries can be a decent center when he gets involved. They just need to pick up one good defensive big man from free agency and the roster is good to go to the playoffs.

      • don’t forget they still have jeff green and additional pieces…don’t count them out yet