Brad Stevens earned himself a new gig on Wednesday morning, making the move to the Boston Celtics front office. In the process, he’ll leave his head coaching job behind, opening a major vacancy in the NBA.
Stevens will take over as the Celtics President of Basketball Operations, replacing longtime executive Danny Ainge, who announced that he would step down. The 44-year-old cited his desire to take on a new role as a major reason for the move but it’s possible that other forces were at play.
According to ESPN NBA insider Jordan Schultz, Stevens had struggled to maintain control of the locker room, dating back to before the start of the 2020-21 season.
“Celtics view of Brad Stevens is as follows: He’s undoubtedly a (great) basketball mind,” Schultz tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “That’s why he’s replacing Ainge. The second, however, is that Stevens lost the locker room even before this season’s collapse. Both parties agree the front office will best highlight his skill set.”
#Celtics view of Brad Stevens is as follows: He’s undoubtedly a gr8 basketball mind. That’s why he’s replacing Ainge. The second however, is that Stevens lost the locker room even before this season’s collapse. Both parties agree the front office will best highlight his skill set
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) June 2, 2021
Earlier on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Stevens had been “worn down” since last year’s NBA Bubble Playoffs and was hoping to make the jump to a front office role.
“Stevens has been described as worn down with coaching since The Bubble, and welcomed the chance to make the transition to the front office, sources tell ESPN,” Woj tweeted. “Stevens will help lead the search for his successor as head coach.”
It’s likely that a combination of things led to Stevens switching roles, including the Celtics underwhelming performance this season. Although injuries were a major part of Boston’s struggles this year, a 36-36 regular season record certainly wasn’t going to cut it.
Stevens will immediately be thrown into the fire this offseason as he’ll lead the search for his successor in the coming days.