Prior to Mike Woodson taking the Indiana head coaching job late last month, the university was reportedly planning to back up the Brinks truck in order to secure the services of Brad Stevens. NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski recently joined ESPN’s NBA Countdown to detail the abundance of cash IU was waving in Stevens’ face in hopes that the coach would jettison the Boston Celtics for a return to his roots.
“I was told that Indiana was prepared to offer him seven years, $70 million,” Wojnarowski reported on air. The rumored contract details clearly blindsided analyst Jalen Rose, who hit us with this epic on-the-spot reaction.
“Hey Juwan, you hear that? Juwan, you hear that?” Rose exclaimed, speaking of his former Fab Five teammate turned Michigan coach, Juwan Howard. “I’m sorry. Oh my God. I need to go back to college. … Wow, really?”
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Rose: Stevens is ‘a Favorite Son’ of Indiana
Rose delved a bit further into his opinion on the reported numbers during Monday’s airing of the Jalen and Jacoby show.
“The number is eye-popping,” Rose said of the rumored $70 million offer. “The first thing, when he said it, I was like ‘man I need to start being friends with Juwan Howard. Then I was like, when you’re trying to hire (Stevens) from the Celtics, there’s going to be a tax there. You’re trying to bring him back to Indiana where he took Butler to back-to-back championship games, a favorite son in the state. And the Hoosiers need to be successful in basketball. In 49 states, it’s basketball. But that’s Indiana, the Holy Grail where the game was meant to be born.”
Rose also added that was Stevens actually offered to choose between returning to his home state and staying with the Celtics, he feels as if the 44-year-old coach made the correct decision to stick it out in Beantown.
“It’s better to be in the league,” Rose said. “He can get the same money in the league without having to go recruiting and having to do all the stuff that comes with being a college coach.”
Stevens Disputes Rumors He Received Offer from IU
It’s worth noting that Wojnarowski reported that Indiana was simply “prepared” to offer Stevens a $70 million package, not that they actually did. Still, the gaudy numbers were enough for many outlets and fans to run with, leading to Stevens choosing to address the matter publically.
“I was never offered a package, so that’s all news to me,” he said, via the Boston Sports Journal’s John Karalis. “I wasn’t going to leave anyway.”
“I don’t know how long I’m going to coach,” Stevens added. “I don’t know how long I’m going to coach in the NBA. I don’t know how long they’ll want me to coach in the NBA … right now I am thrilled to be the Celtics head coach and it is a great challenge and a great responsibility.”
Stevens was in some awfully hot water earlier this season. However, his Celtics have turned the corner of late, winning eight of their last 10 games and beginning to take the form of the Eastern Conference contenders many pinned them to be prior to the season.