Brad Stevens hopes to lead the Boston Celtics back to the playoffs next spring. But in the meantime, the coach is enjoying a different kind of postseason.
Stevens, a native of Zionsville, Ind., is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, who squared off against the New York Mets on Saturday in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.
“I grew up in Indiana,” Stevens told reporters Saturday, via ESPN.com “You had the Reds two hours southeast, you have the Cardinals two hours southwest, and you have the Cubs and White Sox north. My dad would take me to games in different stadiums. I remember going to Wrigley for the first time — I’ve been in (Butler’s) Hinkle Fieldhouse and Fenway, and I love those old places. So that was kind of the first thing. And my favorite player as a kid, really young, was Andre Dawson. I think he went from the Expos to the Cubs, so I kind of followed it from there.”
Stevens even had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field after one of his two national championship appearances with Butler.
The Cubs jersey he wore for the occasion is proudly displayed in his home.
“It’s the only uniform I have in a frame,” Stevens said, via ESPN.com. “I’m pretty stoked about it.”
So, Stevens clearly hopes the Cubs knock off the Mets to reach their first World Series since 1945. Don’t expect a similar endorsement ahead of Sunday’s New England Patriots-Indianapolis Colts showdown, though.
Here’s what the Indy-area native had to say a few days before last season’s AFC Championship Game:
“So, I grew up for 33 years in Indianapolis, right? I have a lot of friends there, and if I say the wrong team, they’ll all be mad at me,” he said. “And I work here, so if I say the wrong team, they’ll all be mad at me.
“I know this, I’ve gotten a kick out of listening to both sides of the coin talk about their hatred for the other from a fandom standpoint, because I know a lot of people in each organization now that I greatly respect. I’m sad that some of those people have to lose and won’t be able to play again after Sunday. But those organizations are a lot alike, I hate to break that to everybody. They’re high-level organizations who are always there for a reason.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens during a game against Phoenix.