New Celtics coach Brad Stevens begins the big transition

Brad Stevens Celtics
Brad Stevens will begin his NBA coaching career Wednesday in Toronto. Credit: Getty Images

The most important rookie on the Celtics this year isn’t lottery pick Kelly Olynyk. It’s not the undrafted point guard, Phil Pressey, either.

Nope. That title goes to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who makes his regular season NBA debut tonight in Toronto (7 p.m., CSN).

Danny Ainge signed Stevens to a lengthy six-year deal this summer, after Doc Rivers was “traded” to the Clippers. The former Butler head coach has a training camp and a handful of preseason games under his belt, but as you can imagine, it’s quite a transition.

Take into account that the Butler Bulldogs played a grand total of 38 games last season, with just two sets of three games played on consecutive days (both tournaments with no travel). Stevens will coach 44 more games in the NBA this season, including a total of 20 back-to-back games.

Or how about dealing with million-dollar athletes, clashing personalities, and a number of other issues off the court? Not to mention the numerous rule changes, including a 24-second clock, down from 35 in the NCAA game.

Stevens, who last week turned 37, is the youngest head coach in the NBA, and is actually younger than 10 active NBA players, including former Celtics Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

But despite all those challenges, Stevens goes into tonight’s game with a sense of belonging where he is.

“Obviously we’re all excited to get the regular season started,” Stevens said. “I think that based on the way I’ve kind of gone about thinking about it, and trying to get a pulse on how I feel, when I coached my first game as a head coach [in the preseason], that was a little bit different. Being a head coach and having a chance to do eight dress rehearsals has probably eased the nerves.”

Of course, Stevens isn’t in this alone. He was allowed to hire his own staff, and seems to have all the confidence in the world in it. Assistant coach Ron Adams has been an assistant coach in the NBA for over a decade – most recently with the Bulls – and his experience will prove invaluable to Stevens. Along with the assistants and scouts, Stevens feels prepared for the challenges and rigorous scheduling that the NBA presents.

“I think that’s why you get a great staff behind you,” Stevens said. “That’s the most important thing, having guys that are reliable in getting their work done and do good work. And it’s just making it as easy as possible for me to transition quickly to the next game, and then us making it as easy as possible for the players to transition to the next game.”

We’re about to find out just how easy transitioning is.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…