WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens has a tremendous amount of respect for New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and what he has built in Foxboro.
But it wasn't until Sunday’s playoff game between the Patriots and the Houston Texans did he actually see them play at Foxboro.
And while Stevens is from Indiana and is indeed an Indianapolis Colts fan, the Patriots have his support for a multitude of reasons.
“It was fun to watch,” said Stevens who attended the game with his father and his son. “When you talk about rooting interest, you root for who you know. I was definitely rooting for them. I hope they can go all the way. It was fun to watch.”
He wasn’t the only Celtic in Foxboro cheering on the Patriots who pulled away for a 34-16 win over the Texans.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas was there watching from a suite.
“It was a nice. They won. I got a lot of backlash for switching up,” said Thomas, a Tacoma, Wash. Native who grew up rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.
“It was good, just to be on that field and be around those guys,” Thomas said. “You can tell, they’re focused on winning a championship, winning the Superbowl. You want to be around those type of players.”
That goes for coaches as well, which is why Brad Stevens has maintained a good relationship with Belichick who has created the kind of winning atmosphere that all coaches want.
“One of the things they’ve’ created is sustainability and culture,” Stevens said. “Any coach wants to be in a position where over the course of time every single year you suit up, you got a chance. Because of the commitment of doing things the way they want to do it … they’ve created that. I can’t say enough good things about the job that he’s done. I’ve got a chance to watch him up close. You feel pretty inadequate when you walk out of that building as a coach.”
Stevens has also been impressed with the way the Patriots have handled injuries and situations where a key player has been down.
“There’s been a ton of change in the roster and he just keeps churning out wins regardless of who is on the field. Obviously (Tom) Brady has been a constant through all of that. But at the same time, there have been a lot of changes at a lot of significant positions. They just do their job well. That’s the bottom line.