A man is only as good as his word. If that’s true, then Brad Stevens is as good as they come.
The day following Stevens’ introduction as the new head coach of the Celtics, he was not in Boston. He was not in Massachusetts. He wasn’t even on the East Coast.
Instead, he was riding in the Connersville, Ind., bicentennial parade after making a promise to former Butler player Matt Howard and his family.
“I give the Celtics organization a lot of credit, when we talked on Wednesday morning, I said, ‘There’s some place I need to be on Saturday. I told them I would be there.’ They said, ‘Hey, we love that,'” Stevens said. “To be honest, that meant a lot to me, from their standpoint, that they would feel that way. That’s a place that values team, that’s a place that values culture, and they understand that, when you’ve got a person that you’ve done a ton of stuff with over time, and a family that’s been so great to you, if you told them you’re going to do something, you do it.”
As he rode down the streets of Connersville in an yellow Mustang convertible, Stevens closed out his career with Butler. While the university may be in Indianapolis, this city is where Stevens began his coaching — on a recruiting trip to Howard’s home.
“It was the first place I drove when I got the Butler job,” Stevens told the Indy Star. “I think we can all agree that was probably a good decision — the drive here to spend time with the Howards. They are just getting a new college coach at the time, and they treated me like I’d been doing it for 20 years.”
And even though Stevens has not been coaching for two decades, the loyalty he has shown is something that will carry over to the Boston sidelines.
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