Finding your next head coach often is no easy task, but it’s safe to say Danny Ainge knocked it out the park five years ago.
The Boston Celtics’ transition after the Doc Rivers era ended up being a seamless one, as Brad Stevens stepped in and quickly made a positive impact on the franchise. The Celtics have improved every season under Stevens, who is poised for continued success in the future in Boston.
Stevens’ tenure with the Celtics, of course, wouldn’t have been made possible without Ainge. And judging from Stevens’ recent interview with The Eagle-Tribune, it’s clear the C’s president of basketball operations made quite the impression on the head coach.
Per The Eagle-Tribune’s Bill Burt:
He was very realistic about where we were going to be and where we wanted to go. Any time you look at the pro game and college — now, shoot, unfortunately it’s even trickled down to high school as well — people are quick to make a change in coaches.
And, if you look at the track record here before, Doc was here nine years, he was one of the most tenured coaches in the league. The way that everybody spoke about Danny and the job that he’d done was, you know, couldn’t have been kinder. That was obvious, too, the way Danny was speaking about the coach that he had worked with for nine years. And the fact that Danny has been a coach, he talked about that phase of his career. He has been a general manager, he has been a player. Nobody knew the NBA better.
So, I figured that if he thought this might work, then he’s got an idea about the league. I’m intrigued by the league, and I was learning more as we talked, but I think the idea that they had had a coach for so long, through a championship run but also some up and down years, was another intriguing part of it.
We have a feeling both Stevens and Ainge are more than happy with how things have panned out.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images