Brad Stevens has at least one vote for the NBA Coach of the Year award, but the only problem is it will not officially count for the Boston Celtics leader. Los Angeles head coach Frank Vogel believes Stevens should win this year’s award despite there being a lot of competition.
“I think so many people have done great jobs,” Vogel explained to ESPN. “Obviously coach Bud (Mike Budenholzer) and coach (Nick) Nurse out east, doing what they’ve done has been very impressive. ‘Billy the Kid’ (Billy Donovan) in OKC — with a team that didn’t necessarily have high expectations — has done a great job. Taylor Jenkins has done a great job in Memphis. But why don’t I give it to my former Indiana buddy Brad Stevens for doing a great job losing Kyrie Irving and a few others? Al Horford changing the whole identity of their team and having a great season. I would probably vote for Brad.”
Stevens has helped make the Celtics a more cohesive team than a season ago despite the exodus of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford among other key players. One important note is that the Coach of the Year along with all other NBA awards will be based on the season through March, prior to play being halted as a response to COVID-19. This allows every team’s players and coaches to be considered for awards. The Celtics went 43-21 during this stretch of games and sit as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics Have Championship Aspirations
The Celtics are not just showing up at Disney to finish out the season. Enes Kanter noted on his NBC Sports podcast Stevens has helped the Celtics hold on to their championship aspirations.
“Like Coach Brad said, this will be the story that you tell your grandkids,” Kanter noted. “This is definitely the craziest, most weirdest season ever. This year is the story to tell your grandkids. So let’s tell them a good story. Let’s tell them, ‘Hey, we came here, we did what we were supposed to do, we went out there, and the Celtics won a championship.’”
Stevens Wants Celtics to ‘Utilize This Unique Time Together’
Stevens is mindful of the fact that there is an ongoing global pandemic and players along with coaches are away from their families. The Celtics head coach may have championship dreams, but he is focused on the little things as Boston prepares for the NBA restart.
“I probably have been more focused on, I just want us to have a joyful period,” Stevens said, per Mass Live. “I think that it’s not just about the games right now. It’s about that there are 21 other hours when you are in the hotel. So maybe you find a couple of hours to do the optional shooting. Maybe you have a dinner or a breakfast with a teammate, a coaching staff member, whatever the case may be. But you’re trying to make sure we all fill those hours appropriately and utilize this unique time together.”