Brad Stevens’ seat seems to be as hot as it’s ever been in his time in Boston. While his job isn’t likely in any immediate danger, his team has lost 11 of their last 17 games. During that stretch, they’ve looked inconsistent at best, and unmotivated at worst.
Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show on Thursday morning, Celtics GM Danny Ainge defended his head coach in light of the team’s recent performance against lesser teams.
“My coach is more prepared and humble than anybody. He respects Washington [Wizards] and Detroit [Pistons] more than anybody in that entire locker room,” Ainge said, as he turned his attention to the players. “It has to do with the players. I think it’s just a maturity issue with the team.”
What kind of maturity issue? Ainge seems to think that the early-round playoff success in recent years might be going to his young players’ heads. “It’s always a fear I have when you have a little bit of success, you know, you just you’re not quite humble enough and respect your opponent. And I don’t think we respected our opponent enough. It’s that simple.”
“It has nothing to do with coaching,” he added.
As for the reports of Stevens having lost the team, which some say is what has led to the immaturity on the roster, Ainge described that idea as a media fabrication.
“I just think that’s the culture of sports and sports reporting. I don’t see that at all,” he said. “We had a really good game the other night against Denver. And last night I thought we were actually playing pretty well early. And I don’t think it has anything to do with listening to a head coach. I mean, I’m around the team every day and I just I don’t see that at all. And I don’t -we have a coach that has our guys prepared.”
You can listen to Toucher & Rich’s full conversation with Danny Ainge below:
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.