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18 things we learned from the Brad Stevens podcast

07.25.13 at 10:48 pm ET

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joined the Green Street podcast for his longest interview in Boston since signing his six-year, $22 million contract. Here are 18 things we learned from the conversation.

18. He’s not goal-oriented; he’s process-oriented: “My goal is to win the next game one possession at a time. That’€™s it. I don’€™t have any other goals. I’€™ve never been a goal guy. I didn’€™t have a goal at Butler. Our goals were always to get better every day and win the next game one possession at a time, and that was it. And so that’€™s what we’€™ll try to do.”

17.He really likes Phil Pressey: “Pressey is a guy who can affect a game. If a game is not really going your way, he can spark you. He can get inside the defense, he can make plays defensively. He can his hands on balls. He is a cerebral point guard. I like his game. I think he does a lot of good things.”

16. Danny Ainge inquired about his interest before the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade: “After Doc left, he had actually called me and talked about, ‘€˜Are you interested in the job?’€™ And, ‘€˜This is what I’€™ve got going on this week.’€™ It was draft week, and then he said there are some other things that may be coming down the pike as well, so it’€™s going to be a busy week for me, so we just agreed to talk later on.

“So, that’€™s when I saw and heard about Kevin and Paul, and obviously they did such terrific things for this place. It’€™s really amazing what they were able to do and what they were able to accomplish, and they’€™ll go down as two of the best that ever played here. But I knew that was coming when I accepted the job. I knew that it was a formality by the time I accepted the job, and so that didn’€™t have any impact on accepting it or not.”

15. He’s an Avery Bradley fan: “Obviously, he’€™s a dynamic athlete. He’€™s a really hard worker. He’€™s been in Boston the better part of the time that I have been as well, so I’€™ve gotten a chance to spend some time with him. I like his demeanor, I like his work ethic. He’€™s a good young player with a high upside.”

14. Game action for young players is a bit overrated: “You have to perform in practice to be able to perform in the game. There are some people who I do think are ‘€˜a gamer,’€™ but if you don’€™t bring it in your preparation, if you don’€™t spend time on your preparation and if you don’€™t work on your own game, study your opponent, commit to however your team is playing, then you’€™ll have a ceiling on yourself. And I think at the end of the day, you’€™re looking for guys who won’€™t accept the ceiling and will just continue to strive and be the very best that they can be.”

13. Kelly Olynyk opened his eyes in Orlando: “I thought that Olynyk played as well as anybody that I saw throughout all of the summer leagues, and he’€™s a very versatile player who knows how to think the game and knows how to communicate the game, and I think he’€™ll be a quick study. And I think it will be important that he is. I think that we could really use the things that he brings to the table sooner rather than later. …

“He can dribble, pass and shoot at 7 feet. That’€™s a very vague description of him, but he can just do so many things. He can put the ball on the floor, pass with either hand, he can feed the post, he can shoot it, he can run in and shoot it, he can space and shoot it, he’€™s got all kinds of opportunities to affect the game. There aren’€™t many guys who are that size who are that multidimensional.”

12. He’s a “player’s coach”: “That I think refers to somebody who is not only willing to get the input, but really evaluate the input of the people that are on their roster, and I do feel that way. I do feel that way. I want them to feel really good about where they are and that they are putting their signature on their work every single day.”

11. He knows who Vitor Faverani is: “He’€™s a skilled guy. He can shoot the ball away from the basket. He can also score in the post. He’€™s obviously been well coached. I have seen him only on film. I have spent some time in communication with him, and we’€™re looking forward to getting him over here and obviously a guy with size that gives you some flexibility on both ends of the court.”

10. He almost worked at Applebee’s: “I was going to work at an Applebee’€™s literally the day I got hired full-time at Butler, so I decided I didn’€™t need to do that anymore.”

9. Statistician Drew Cannon is smarter than you: “I think there’€™s a lot of elementary stuff that has been certainly discussed, but just the level of depth at which guys like Drew — and there are other guys in this business that certainly think like him and certainly are very talented in that regard — but it’€™s certainly longer content than a short interview. One of the things that I think is neat about this level is just the access to all the different resources that they have, and it’€™s certainly very intriguing to consider everything when putting together a team.”

8. Jeff Green is a good dude: “I think he’€™s a really talented guy. I think he’€™s a really good person. I’€™ve gotten a chance to know him a little bit. I’€™ve sat down with him at some games in Orlando, I’€™ve talked on the phone, texted with him and have heard nothing but great things from the people who have been around him throughout his career, so I’€™m looking forward to working with him.”

7. Talent trumps intangibles: “There’€™s a minimum level of ability that goes into making this thing successful anyway. All the other intangibles are certainly extremely important and maybe give you an advantage in a low possession game, so you have to have that minimum level of talent, and you coach to those intangibles the best you can, and the guys that combine the two the best usually play the most.”

6. He isn’t making the call on Shavlik Randolph’s future in Boston: “That’€™s kind of outside of my duties. I’€™m a guy who I think will be consulted and will act as a consultant in that arena, but I trust that Danny Ainge and his staff will make great decisions and put us in great position to be successful.”

5. The starting lineup is nowhere near determined: “I really don’€™t give that a lot of thought in general. One of the reasons why is because you don’€™t necessarily always start the five guys that are going to finish the game. You don’€™t start the five games who are maybe the best five. You may start the best couple and then the guys who complement them. You just find that out as you go through the early season.

“I think that’€™s why some guys in this league have played a long time who may be less talented than others, because they’€™ve figured out how to be complementary guys to the best players, so obviously the best ones have to separate themselves, which they will do in the training camp, and then we’€™ll go from there.”

4. “The Butler Way” is a lot like Ubuntu: “Any organization, any business that you’€™re in, if you don’€™t have consistency among what your goals are or common goals or common aspirations, and you can’€™t get collective buy-in, then you’€™re just not going to be successful. So, I think that’€™s No. 1.

“I think that’€™s what gave us a chance. It was that everyone was in it together, and even though there were a lot of people with their own individual desires, they were able to put those aside for the betterment of one, and that’€™s hard. That’€™s a hard thing to do, and it doesn’€™t always happen in October, November or December or January, but by March it was always that way there.

“And I think that’€™s something that we’€™ll strive towards, and these guys have already shown that, and I think at the end of the day that’€™s the thing about the Celtics that really stands out. There’€™s a pride about the players of the past, about the teams of the past and obviously there’€™s a success that speaks for itself, but there’€™s a way that they went about their business and the way that they cared about one another that I think is unique.”

3. Things with Rajon Rondo are copacetic: “It’€™s been great. I think Rajon would echo this: We’€™ve only gotten a chance to meet once in person and talk over the phone or text a few times, so it’€™s not like we know each other really well, but I do think that there’€™s a lot of shared characteristics, and I’€™m looking forward to working with him.”

2. Rondo and Jared Sullinger are recovering well: “Both those guys are continuing to work and to work hard. Rondo’€™s actually not in town. Jared is in town, so I see Jared pretty much on a daily basis. I have not seen Rajon since I went to his camp, but every report I get from both of them is that they’€™re really moving in the right direction.”

1. He doesn’t like the word tanking: “I never spend a minute thinking about it. It’€™s never been part of my vocabulary. It’€™s never been a part of the players in this locker room’€™s vocabulary or anybody in this building. I think it’€™s one of those things that we are going to try to be the very best we can be every single day. It’€™s part of the process. It’€™s part of the way that I believe in doing things. You strive to play to your standard every single day.”

To listen to the complete interview, click here.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Jeff Green
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