Brad Stevens Rumors
In the stands across the gym, Celtics coach Brad Stevens took in the scene with a smile. Part of the reason that Stevens was thrilled to have four players participating in Team USA’s training camp this week was that his guys got hands-on experience working with championship coaches Popovich and Kerr. “I just think it’s always great to hear consistent themes and messages all across the board,” said Stevens. “Obviously, nobody’s a better communicator, nobody does that better than [Popovich]. It’s great for these guys.”
What aspects of your game are you working on this offseason? Enes Kanter: Now, the league has changed a lot. There’s not much back-to-the-basket play anymore – that left – and that’s my game. Of course, with the league changing, everybody has to be able to make three-point shots now. That’s why my focus this summer is my three-point shooting. When I talked to Brad Stevens, he told me he wanted me to shoot threes. In the press conference, I was sitting next to Danny Ainge and he told me, “You know, that three-point line isn’t for decoration.” I was like, “Got it! Okay!”
And according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen, Irving “soured” on the C’s president of basketball operations fairly early in the 2019-20 season. “I don’t know why. But I was hearing by December he’s frustrated with Danny,” MacMullan said on the latest episode of “The Michael Holley Podcast.” “I don’t know what it is, I still don’t know the answer. Kyrie has never told me.” But she does have a guess. “It started there, and then he starts second-guessing the coach — again, passive-aggressive,” she said. “I don’t think he disliked Brad Stevens at all, I just think he lost faith in him. And I think he lost faith in everybody there.”
“I don’t know there’s anything anyone individually necessarily feels like they should have done or could have done,” Stevens said when asked if he wishes he could have done anything different with Irving. “That’s part of free agency. You can go where you want at the end of the day. “I enjoyed Kyrie. I like Kyrie, and I wish him nothing but health and success. I think anytime you go through a year like we went through, where you don’t necessarily meet expectations – on some years that might be a good year but on others it’s not — I think there’s probably going to be some change. And I don’t fault him one bit for choosing to follow whatever he wants to do. That’s his right.” Like the rest of us, Irving spent much of the offseason uncertain about Irving’s status before July 1st. He said he had not talked to the point guard much since the season ended and kept his thoughts cordial when reflecting upon the two seasons with the All-Star. “I don’t really look at it from the standpoint of where we lost, what part of the season we lost in. It’s just you spend two years together, you wish him well and you move on,” he said.
Adam Himmelsbach: Stevens on Horford: “We loved Al, we wanted him back. Again, it’s his choice. He can go do what he wants to do and there’s a lot of factors that end up helping these guys making those decisions. But he’s a heck of a player and did a great job here in the three years he was here.”