Earlier this week, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was essentially forced to make a public statement when he was rumored to be a candidate for the Indiana Hoosiers’ open head coaching job. It was a story that felt particularly odd given Stevens’ track record as a top-flight NBA coach and the fact that he just signed a contract extension last summer.
Nevertheless, Stevens found himself denying reports of an impending return to the college game during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand” earlier this week.
On Friday, though, the Stevens-to-Indy chatter was given new life when Dave Dameshek tweeted that his hiring by the storied hoops school was imminent. Shortly thereafter, Indy-centric reporter Scott Agness fired off a tweet of his own to add fuel to the fire.
“I continue to hear good things about the possibility of Stevens to #iubb,” he wrote, while quote-tweeting a report that Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson is taking the deliberate approach to naming his next basketball coach.
As a result, musings about a Stevens move back to Indiana — where he rose to prominence as the head coach at Butler — began to percolate on social media. So, when speaking to reporters ahead of his club’s evening showdown with the Sacramento Kings, the Celtics coach addressed the rumors once again.
Stevens Continues to Deny Hoosiers Rumors
During his pre-game media session, Stevens was asked point-blank if he was considering taking a job with the Hoosiers. Much as he did earlier in the week, the longtime Celtics coach wasted little time in refuting the recent reports.
“I said it the other day — I’m not,” Stevens deadpanned, as captured by NBC Sports Boston. “I tried to say it as clearly as I could and also make sure that people understand that that place, to me, is special, because I don’t want to make it sound like it’s not. But, you know, like I said the other day, I’m so grateful to this organization and to the people here and for all that they’ve done for us.”
Stevens did concede that his team — which has lost three of its last four games and currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference — is facing some tough challenges this season. However, he still spoke highly about the organization and his involvement with it.
“We’re going through a tough season and I think that it’s not my job to not go through it. It’s not my job to not make sure that I’m doing everything I can to help find a better version of ourselves this year,” he said. “I love coming to work every day. I love this area. People have been great to us; my family is so happy.”
Stevens’ Final Word on His Standing with the Celtics
In conclusion, Stevens offered what may have been the definitive statement on his current status with the Celtics and any consideration he may have given to moving on.
“Just like I said on Tuesday, I’m not. I don’t know if I’ll have to answer that again on Monday, but I hope that people understand that,” he said.
“I hope they hire whoever they hire and I hope they’re there for 20 years and kids feel like I did. But I’m not a kid anymore, I’m a 44-year-old Masshole. I swerve around others when I’m driving, I eat Dunkin’ Donuts and I root for the Patriots.”