Brad Stevens Rumors
Turner’s future will be one of the important stories of this summer for the Celtics. And during an interview Monday, Stevens explained his appreciation for Turner, who finished fifth in the voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. “I love Evan Turner,” Stevens said. “I think he’s a great teammate. I think he’s a hard worker. I think he loves basketball. I don’t think you can overvalue that. He loves basketball, and he never once — we didn’t have two conversations about starting or not starting. It was never about him. It was always about how to help us put our best foot forward, and he knew his role in helping us do that.”
Stevens graduated with a degree in economics, but when Thad Matta offered him a low-paying, part-time position in Butler’s basketball program, Stevens jumped at the opportunity and resigned from his marketing job at Eli Lilly. He learned alongside Butler assistant Todd Lickliter, who quickly became a friend and mentor. It was Lickliter who stressed the value of a clear mind and fresh legs — Butler’s practices usually lasted no longer than an hour — and the need to keep the game plan as simple as possible.
“He’s unbelievable in how he carries himself,” Popovich says. “He’s truthful and straight up with his players, and in this league, that’s the biggest thing they respect — that you are comfortable in your own skin.”
Another example: Earlier this season, Smart committed a cardinal Stevens sin: spinning under a screen instead of going over it. “He let me know in a way only Brad would: in the huddle, out of sight,” Smart says. “He’ll grab you and still have that calm face on, but what he’s saying isn’t calm.”