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New Celtics coach Brad Stevens sends letter to former players inviting them to be a part of team’s tradition

Aug 14, 2013, 12:02 AM EDT

New Boston Celtics Head Coach Stevens smiles during a news conference at the Celtics training center in Waltham Reuters

Brad Stevens is just 36 years old and has never coached a single minute of NBA basketball. None of that mattered to the Boston Celtics, of course, who hired Stevens as the head coach that will succeed Doc Rivers, and will hopefully return the storied franchise to relevance sooner rather than later.

Stevens is beginning his tenure wisely — by reaching out to former players and welcoming them with open arms.

From longtime NBA scribe Peter Vecsey:

Brad Stevens sent letter 2 former Celtic players. Said if they ever want 2 attend practice or home/away games, call his office…cont..

…Stevens said they’re always welcome to continue to be part of the Celtics’ tradition.

It’s a smart move by Stevens, and it’s easy to understand why he’d go to the trouble of doing such a thing.

Having former players around a young team in a rebuilding phase is an instant way to gain credibility with the guys he’s currently coaching. It can’t be easy to enter an NBA locker room with no prior experience at that level, and by ingratiating himself with legends of seasons past, Stevens will create a franchise culture that should translate immediately to a minimal level of respect.

It’ll be up to Stevens to cultivate those player relationships, but if nothing else, opening the door for Celtics veterans to participate in his program could give him a decent head start.

  1. blakegriffin32 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Smart move by a smart man. Wish him success.

    • hehateme2 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Gonna be a train wreak. Good times!

  2. 702heatrock - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    something tells me he lost ricky davis’ address

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      I have an autographed picture of him hanging on my wall. *Thinks about what I just said*. Googles “Paul Pierce Autograph”.

  3. kingwithringz - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Did he call Ray Allen as well?

  4. cmcgly - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Don’t forget Waltah McCahhty

  5. BurkieInBoston - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Yes, I’d love to see who was on the mailing list. Guys like Russell & Cousy are obvious. What about guys like Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe?

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Hondo Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Robert Parish, Tiny Nate Archibald…

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Now, maybe Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish actually WILL walk through that door.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Rick Pitino is cursing himself for not thinking of this to play a cruel joke on his team.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Easy to joke when your team is 2 time defending NBA champs with the world’s best basketball player.

      • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        I’m a Celts fan and thought it was funny. The Pitino days weren’t exactly the best years for the Celtics and it’s good to be able to laugh about it again.

  7. stoopidfool - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    in honor of dave cowens, they’ll be putting all the beers in paper bags

  8. BigBeachBall - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Lets give the high school girls basketball coach a call…

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Which high school?

  9. imakcds - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    wait….isn’t this the team that just knifed their last championship players AND coach in the back, slamming the door shut as they were SENT their merry way???
    Simply a PR move, one, I think, given recent events, rings quite hollow.

    • 1historian - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      NOBODY got knifed in the back.

      1) Doc left because he didn’t want to be part of the (inevitable) rebuilding.
      2) Pierce and Garnett consented to the trade because they knew that the Celtics weren’t going to be real contenders in the immediate future, which was all they would be part of in any case. They went to a team which is a legitimate contender next season.

      It was a difficult situation and it was handled as well as possible.

      As for it’s being a PR move – of course it was. What’s wrong with that? You have to remember that this is a town that has NBA championship flags dating back 56 years. Doc went to the Clippers – no flags. Pierce and Garnett went to the Nets – no flags.

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