Brad Stevens didn’t have to win Coach of the Year as voted on by his peers. But for the Celtics head coach to be shut out entirely is inexplicable. Still, that doesn’t mean that he or the C’s even care.
Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge spoke on Stevens’ Coach of the Year snub as part of his Thursday call with Toucher & Rich after the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the 76ers. Ainge acknowledged that there could be “politics” involved in the voting, but ultimately, Coach of the Year isn’t important to him or Stevens – and the truly important thing is that the C’s know how good the coach has been.
“The beauty of Brad, the authenticity of Brad, is that he doesn’t care,” said Ainge. “He wants it to be about the players. He’d be embarrassed if he won it. So he’s probably more comfortable not winning Coach of the Year. We love Brad. I think Brad knows that all of us in the organization – players, owners, management, all the people that are around him everyday – would rather have him than any coach in the league.
“There’s politics involved [in the voting process]. Anyway, he’s our coach of the year.”
Ainge continued, explaining what makes Stevens such a good coach. It’s as simple as giving his players the best chance to have success in his system.
“Brad has coached a lot of different kinds of players during his time here … and I think Brad has done very well with all of them,” Ainge said. “I think Brad is just really terrific at trying to identify what his players can do and what they do best, and put them in positions where they can [succeed]. … A lot of players have played their best basketball under Brad.”
Ainge also spoke on the “impressive” performance of Terry Rozier and other young talent for the Celtics in the playoffs, as well as what to expect against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Listen above for the full interview!
Click here for all Celtics stories from 98.5 The Sports Hub.