Stevens already reaching out to Celtics players

Stevens already reaching out to Celtics players
July 5, 2013, 3:15 pm
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WALTHAM -- One of the keys to Brad Stevens' approach is getting to know players before he coaches them. Just a few days into his new job as head coach of the Boston Celtics, he has already started that process.

Stevens reached out to each player on the roster upon accepting the job and was pleased to receive responses from all of them.

"I heard back from everybody and they were great," he said. "Jeff (Green) called right back and Jared (Sullinger) got right back to me. … The response for them has really been kind and good, so I'm looking forward to working with them."

Stevens met Avery Bradley, who was at the Celtics practice facility, in person prior to his introductory press conference. President of Basketball Operations noted Stevens wants to meet more players over the coming weeks to begin getting to know one another. That includes Rajon Rondo, who has been at the center of coachability talks since the hiring.  

"I know that they talked and it sounded like their talk went really well," said Ainge. "They want to get together and see if they can develop a relationship before the season starts."

Said Stevens, "I can't wait to sit down with him (Rondo) because he's not only a really good basketball player, he's also really intelligent and you can see that in his game. I think he has an intelligence not only about the way he plays but also an instinctive ability to see the next play coming. … I can't wait to meet him. I can't wait to spend time with him. I hope he feel like at the end of the day he's learned a thing or two for me, but I'm guessing I'll learn a lot more from him."

After working on the Butler University coaching staff for 13 years, Stevens has seen many of the Celtics in action as they moved up the ranks to the NBA. He also knew Courtney Lee, who grew up in Indiana, from their home state. "There's a lot of connections there," he said.

To Stevens, getting to know the Celtics off the court will be just as important as knowing them as players.

"I love the relationship side of making sure everybody has a great experience and this is a really fulfilling experience," he said. "I will be very focused on that."