Brad Stevens has owned up to being an Indiana Pacers fan in his youth, but the Zionsville, Ind., native grew up without a “home” team in two of the four major sports.
In less than a year in Boston, he’s already become a convert.
Stevens and his family watched hockey for the “first time” during the NHL playoffs and have been quickly converted to Bruins fans. At the NBA draft combine in Chicago, Stevens told The Boston Globe that he has been glued to the NBA playoffs, unless the Bruins were playing.
“This is funny, how much we’ve transitioned to Boston,” Stevens told Baxter Holmes. “The other day, we were watching the Bruins play. We were skipping the NBA playoffs for a night, or at least until the Bruins game was over. We really got into that. That’s the first time my kids have ever watched hockey. It was all fun for us.”
The newfound Boston fan loyalty is not unique to hockey, either. Stevens and his family watched every game of the Red Sox’s World Series win last fall (except for the clinching game, which conflicted with the Celtics’ season opener), and he joked during the Celtics’ season about how his wife and kids wouldn’t go to bed until Red Sox games were over.
Until the Colts relocated from Baltimore in 1984, the Pacers were the only major professional sports franchise greater Indianapolis called its own. Stevens has never indicated having any previous allegiance to any Major League Baseball or NHL franchise, but it sounds like the 37-year-old finally has a rooting interest.