Somewhere in a back room at the Boston Celtics’ practice facility, there probably is an LCD screen with a remote control lodged where Brad Stevens threw it in anger.
The coach has earned a reputation for his even-keeled demeanor, especially after a trying NBA rookie season in which he was ejected from only one game despite his team’s 25-57 record. Yet Stevens insists he is not quite as unflappable as his body language suggests.
In an interview with Men’s Fitness magazine, Stevens agreed with writer Keenan Mayo’s suggestion that his demeanor is “misperceived.”
“Yes, I would,” Stevens said. “I’m not going to do cartwheels on the baseline very often. Hopefully, I won’t lose my mind very often. You’re trying to stay measured, not necessarily to live up to that billing. It’s more about thinking about the next play.”
The calm person fans see on the sideline therefore is a product of all the work a more frazzled Stevens did in the hours before the game.
“My philosophy is simply that you do 99 percent of your work behind the scenes, and when the game comes around, hopefully you can perform with a feeling of being well-prepared,” Stevens said. “That’s really all I can do. I want my guys confident. I don’t look at myself as an overly calm person.”
A few times this season, Stevens’ anger simmered to the surface publicly, though it never boiled over. Behind the scenes, however, he had to have let out his frustration somehow — maybe even on some poor TV monitor that had the misfortune of replaying footage of yet another Celtics defeat.