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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.

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