BOSTON -- There were no celebratory cake or poppin’ bottle moments, but the accomplishment nonetheless was noteworthy.
Boston’s 107-99 win over the Miami Heat on Monday was victory No. 250 in the regular season for Brad Stevens as the Celtics’ head coach.
Just to put that in perspective, there are only four coaches in the franchise’s illustrious history with more regular-season triumphs: Red Auerbach (795); Tommy Heinsohn (427); Doc Rivers (416) and K.C. Jones (308).
The win total isn’t what stands out about Stevens’ still-developing legacy. He knows as well as anyone that winning an NBA title, something he has yet to do, is the ultimate criteria for greatness with this franchise. The four men ahead of him on the list all won at least one NBA title in Boston.
But what makes what Stevens has done thus far so impressive, is the fact that he has been around long enough to do it.
The NBA -- pro sports as a whole, honestly -- has delivered an increasing amount of impatience with coaches who don’t deliver instant results.
Stevens came into the league as part of one of the largest coaching shifts in league history. Fourteen teams hired new head coaches in 2013, the Celtics among them.
And of those 14, the only ones still with their respective teams, are Stevens, Brett Brown of Philadelphia and ex-Celtics coach Doc Rivers, now with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Continuity as well as coaching acumen come into play when you’re talking about doing this job for an extended period of time. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra has been the Heat’s head coach since 2008 after having served in a variety of roles within the organization for more than a decade. That experience exposed him to how important the culture of an organization can be to a coach's longevity, something he recognizes as having helping Stevens.
“We wish there were more places like Boston that have great ownership, management, and stability,” Spoelstra said. “They know how tough this profession of coaching is. Then when you add in an extremely talented coach, like Brad, there is a reason why they have banners and reasons why they have had success. You have to have continuity and consistency practically when times get tough. They have had tough times and they have been able to weather those and take the benefits.
"Brad is a tremendous coach and has been a great addition to the league bringing in a different background, a college background, and has done a phenomenal job.”
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