Brad Stevens Responds To Talk Of Celtics ‘Tuning Him Out’

Getty Images Celtics head coach Brad Stevens directs his team during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at TD Garden

When Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn suggested the Boston Celtics could be in the beginning stages of tuning out head coach Brad Stevens, the controversial take caused quite the stir.

It was initially addressed during NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics Pregame Live by Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine, who immediately dismissed the notion that Stevens is losing the focus of his team, prior to tip-off between the Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Boston, losers of five of its last seven games, entered the second night of a back-to-back set at TD Garden, hoping to carry its momentum from an impressive 112-99 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Instead, the Celtics trailed early and often. They temporarily held unsteady leads before All-Star Trae Young went off for 25 of his 40 points in the second half to lead Atlanta to a 122-114 win over Boston.

The loss was enough for fans to reignite the debate surround Stevens and his locker room. Eager to pick sides and broadcast their takes onto various social media platforms, most fans aren’t quite ready to give up on Stevens. That seems to be the general consensus, for now.

Does Brad Stevens Fear His Team Is Tuning Him Out?

Still, the constant discussion surrounding the Celtics, Stevens, and their trying regular season didn’t discourage 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand from throwing the popular hard-hitting question toward Brad. Does he ever get the feeling his team could be starting to tune him out?

“Well, the tune-out part, I don’t,” Stevens replied to The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand. “And, certainly you’re going to go through times of the year where guys are frustrated with their own individual experiences. You’re not going to play more than five guys at a time and you’re not going to play more than eight, nine, sometimes 10 guys, in your rotation when fully healthy. So, there’s always something, right?”

The quick turnover of going from a deep postseason run in a bubble in Orlando to what is now the new normal of postponed games and players being forced to sit due to testing positive for COVID-19 and health and safety protocols has been grueling for all players and coaches. Through it all, Stevens has never felt as if his players were beginning to tune him out.

“As far as guys and our ability from day-to-day to coach, they’ve been great to me,” Stevens added. “I have no complaints in that regard, at all. And listen, we all know that we have to be better. I think that that’s a common thought when things aren’t going well. But, I don’t really put too much stuff into that.”

Danny Ainge On Celtics Possibly Tuning Out Brad Stevens: ‘That Is Ridiculous’

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked the same question about his head coach. Is Stevens’ voice, one that’s in its eighth season in Boston, falling on deaf ears?

“Absolutely not,” Ainge replied, per CBS Sports. “That is ridiculous. I just think that’s the culture of sports and sports reporting. It’s a common theme; it must be this if you don’t show up to play or show up to play with the intensity and motivation it takes to win. I don’t see that at all.”

READ NEXT: Brad Stevens Defends Celtics’ Defensive Effort Vs. Trae Young

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