Brad Stevens was a tremendous college basketball coach from Indiana, and with the coaching job at his home state’s flagship university suddenly available, he has to be interested ? right?
Not so fast.
Seemingly every time the University of Indiana coaching job becomes available, Stevens — the former Butler and current Boston Celtics head coach — is mentioned as a possibility to take over.
Shortly after the Hoosiers fired Archie Miller, the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel penned a column imploring Indiana to get a “sure thing.” He wanted Stevens.
Unfortunately for Doyel and the rest of the IU faithful, Stevens is staying in Boston. Marc Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub asked Stevens point-blank Tuesday whether he was quitting the Celtics to go home to Indiana.
“I am not,” Stevens said.
Stevens, however, said he understands where the notion comes from, and he’s flattered.
“That’s nice of them. That’s really is,” he said. “That’s home, I get it. I appreciate all the nice sentiments. It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed, and it’s certainly very kind.”
This could have been a far more interesting conversation a couple of weeks ago, especially had the Celtics not turned things around. Despite defenses from ownership and management, Stevens did face some criticism for Boston’s recent skid. After starting the season 8-3, the Celtics went 7-14 over their next 21 games, with the low point coming Feb. 24 when a 15-point loss in Atlanta dropped the C’s two games below .500.
However, Stevens and the Celtics rebounded with wins in five of their last six games to get back in the Eastern Conference’s top five seeds. Boston gets a stiff test Tuesday night when it takes on the Utah Jazz at TD Garden.
Indiana, meanwhile, goes back to the drawing board. The Hoosiers haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2017, finishing no better than sixth place in the Big Ten under Miller.