As Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens pointed out after the C’s 113-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, someone other than him “should be” leading the Eastern Conference in the upcoming NBA All-Star Game, but that won’t be the case Feb. 19 in New Orleans.
Since the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Ty Lue led the East All-Stars last season, Stevens will coach the Eastern Conference due to his C’s having the second-best record in the conference after Friday night’s games, a mark they clinched before the win thanks to the Toronto Raptors’ loss to the Orlando Magic.
Stevens was asked about that honor right off the bat in his postgame press conference.
“It should be Ty Lue, but the way the rules work it’s the next best record because he did it last year,” Stevens said. “What’s nice about it is there’s no politics in it. There’s no subjectivity. It’s what your team has accomplished, and that’s a credit to the players in the locker room. I almost feel bad that I’m the one that’s going. I’d rather have another one or two of those guys playing in it. But our staff will really enjoy it, and our staff’s kids will really enjoy it.”
Keeping in line with that humble answer, Stevens later pointed out how important the players and his staff have been to getting to this point.
“Well, I think none of us are crazy enough to think you get there without really good players, and the players certainly carry the coaches. That’s been the way it’s always been. But with regard to the staff, I think our staff works incredibly hard. I’ve said before that I’ve tried to prioritize hiring humble, hardworking and intelligent people. And they come every day, they work really hard, they do a lot behind the scenes, they put in a lot of time and effort. And so it’s nice that they’re going to be a part of that as well.”
Stevens and the Celtics coaching staff won’t be going alone to New Orleans. They’ll also have point guard Isaiah Thomas coming off the bench, who once again went off Friday night for 38 points.
Or maybe the staff can change the bench part of that?
“Yeah, so he should put me in that starting lineup,” Thomas joked. “That’s going to be good. It says a lot. It says we’re winning and we’re doing pretty good and to get there says a lot. I’m happy. I’m happy for them.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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