Pacers' Vogel offered advice to Stevens upon hiring

Pacers' Vogel offered advice to Stevens upon hiring
November 22, 2013, 3:45 pm
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BOSTON — Shortly after learning that Brad Stevens was leaving Butler to coach the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel reached out to him.

"We should probably have a conversation," Vogel recalled telling him.

The two spoke on the phone frequently, exchanged text messages and sat down for hours over dinner in Orlando this summer.

Vogel said the conversation spanned any and all topics except one - losing.

Maybe because it was an unspoken reality that both Vogel and Stevens knew was going to come to fruition this season for the Celtics (4-9) who come into tonight's game riding a season-long five game losing skid.

"That's gotta be a big change for him," Vogel said. "You gotta understand, you win 50 games you're going to lose 32 (in the NBA)."

After six seasons at Butler, Stevens left a basketball program that was shaping into a mid-major power. During his time as the Bulldogs' head coach, Stevens had a pair of national runner-up finishes and only two seasons in which the Bulldogs had double-digit losses.

He'll be at that mark as early as tonight if the Celtics loss a sixth in a row.

So far, Stevens has taken most of the losses in stride, often finding a silver lining or two within the Celtics' play after most games.

Vogel is no different than most people you ask about Stevens who rave about his basketball intellect and work ethic.

Not only does it apply to how he coaches but also to the type of assistant coaches he surrounds himself with.

"One of the best things he did was hire a veteran assistant like Ron (Adams)," Vogel said. "He (Adams) has a proven track record for success. And they're guarding, particularly in the half court, extremely well. His attitude and enthusiasm will help as well."

It will especially come in handy if the Celtics as expected, continue to struggle against some of the league's top-tiered teams such as tonight's foe, Indiana.

"I'm sure it's not easy for him but it's not easy for any of us, guys that have been in this league for a while," Vogel said. "It's never easy losing games. You lose a game, it's like the end of the world. You live and die with each game."

And Stevens does it without showing the least bit of frustration before, during and after games.

"I don't know if I've seen him ever get mad," Vogel said, grinning. "He's got a great demeanor. Always under control, which is more than I can say for myself."