BOSTON — Brad Stevens isn’t worried about peer recognition.
Despite being one of — if not the best coach in NBA, the Boston Celtics head coach received zero (!) votes for the National Basketball Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year Award, which Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey won.
Stevens was asked about the snub from his peers prior to the C’s crucial Game 5 tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on Wednesday, and he had a very humble response.
“All the other stuff, like the coaching votes and everything else,” Stevens said, “the way that thing works is you get one vote. And I’m telling you I looked down the sheet and there’s no way that I would have voted for me over any of the other 29 people and the guy that should have won got it. And those other guys that get votes, they’re unbelievable. I’m stealing from those guys all the time.
“It’s so incredible to have an opportunity to be one of 30, and I think it’s a lot more important to just focus on competing with your team rather than trying to compare yourself to others. Because I’m telling you if it gets to be a comparison contest, I’m screwed.”
Stevens also noted how much he appreciated the support he received from former players on social media.
“So first of all, I think you know me well enough to know that all that stuff just doesn’t … so anyways, it means a lot more to me when I get a text message from or you hear something nice said from a former player,” Stevens said, referring to the support from Isaiah Thomas and Evan Turner. ” (Isaiah and Evan) know how much I appreciate and like them and enjoyed our times together so that means a lot.”
Stevens undoubtedly is an elite coach and is deserving of any accolade that comes his way in the future, but for now, he’ll settle for a Game 5 win and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals.