After missing out on an NCAA Tournament that will be held entirely in its home state, Indiana basketball moved on from Archie Miller on Monday. When it comes to coaching candidates for the Hoosiers, one name stands above the rest, whether or not it is at all realistic: Brad Stevens.
Stevens became a coaching superstar at another prominent Indiana basketball institution: Butler. The Zionsville native won the Horizon League three times, and made back-to-back national championship appearances in 2010 and 2011, very nearly beating Duke the first time, and falling in an extremely ugly game to UConn in the second.
In 2013, he parlayed that success into one of the NBA’s most prominent jobs, the Boston Celtics, where he’s had plenty of success. He’s reached the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four years, and the C’s still have an extremely talented young core, with stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in their early 20s. Still, the allure of Indiana basketball for a Hoosier is a major draw.
The Celtics have gotten out to a relatively disappointing 20-18 start to the season, though they have won five or six games and have climbed back into the heart of the playoff picture. Still, some think that this is the time for Indiana to make a run at him. Put Dick Vitale of ESPN in that group.
If I was a decision maker of @IndianaMBB I would do ALL I can do to bring BRAD STEVENS back to college . After 8 years in the @NBA the timing might just be RIGHT for him to return to the state where he built his fame .
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 15, 2021
Maybe the Indiana basketball job has special meaning to Brad Stevens. In fact, it probably does. However, it is pretty unthinkable for him to willingly leave one of the two most prominent jobs in the NBA, for a high-stress college job at a program that has been pretty bad for nearly 20 years now.
If Boston pulled the trigger early and decided to go in another direction, maybe it would be realistic, but that decision probably wouldn’t come until after the NBA season, and the Hoosiers can’t wait that long to fill the role. Stevens walking out on Boston mid-year is pretty unthinkable as well.
Dickie V is far from the only person floating Brad Stevens for the job, but it is hard to see it happening this year based on the circumstances.