Danny Ainge has all the confidence in the world in Brad Stevens.
The Boston Celtics president of basketball operations spoke to reporters Wednesday regarding the 2018-19 NBA season, Kyrie Irving’s status in green and his overall health. This was Ainge’s first media appearance since suffering a mild heart attack in May.
Boston was favored to not be atop the Eastern Conference with its stacked roster — particularly due to a healthy Irving and Gordon Hayward. But the Celtics ended the campaign with a 49-33 record and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in their second-round playoff series.
There certainly was plenty of turmoil throughout the Celtics’ season, and Ainge acknowledged this year “was even more difficult” of a year than he thought Stevens would have.
“It was a very difficult job,” Ainge said, per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelbach. “I knew it’d be difficult from the beginning of the year and we talked about that, but I think it was even more difficult than I anticipated and he anticipated.”
Despite the difficulties, Ainge has zero worry about who’s manning the bench.
“Again, I think he’s going to be a lot better because of the year he went through,” he said. “He’s the least of our worries.
“We know that he’s going to work to become the best that he can be and that he’s going to learn from it. I wish every one of our players would put the time, effort, and energy into what Brad does,” Ainge added. “But there’s no other coach I’d rather have than Brad Stevens.”
Stevens will be entering his seventh season as the C’s head coach when the 2019-20 season tips off. And while there’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding his roster, Celtics fans should find ease in knowing Stevens will, without a doubt, make the best of what he has.