Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/15/14

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05: Head coach Brad Stevens of the Butler Bulldogs looks on in the first half while taking on the Duke Blue Devils during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Duke won 61-59. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Making the coaching jump from college basketball to the NBA isn’t an easy transition. When the Boston Celtics announced they hired Butler head coach Brad Stevens as the next leader of their storied organization, it received a mixed reaction. Some folks thought this would be a perfect fit, that Stevens will be able to take a team that’s in a rebuilding phase and restore it to a championship contender. Those more pessimistic of the hire believe that Stevens will fizzle out and become just another college coach who failed at basketball’s highest level. It’s understandable to be skeptical about Stevens and his ability to coach in the NBA. After all, NCAA championship head coach John Calipari had a career record of 72-112 when he made the jump from the University of Massachusetts to the New Jersey Nets in 1996. Two-time NCAA champion and future Hall of Famer Rick Pitino never reached the playoffs in his four seasons at the helm of the Celtics. If those two revered coaches couldn’t win on the pro level, how can the 36-year-old Brad Stevens? There’s good news out there, nay-sayers, because Brad Stevens will be a successful coach in Boston for two major reasons: basketball intellect and player relationships. It’s a simple formula for success in the NBA, but one that eludes most coaches, specifically those with previous success in the college ranks. The biggest difference between Stevens and guys like Calipari and Pitino is mentality. Both Calipari and Pitino have the “my way or the highway,” attitude, which can be successful at the college level. Trying to scream at guys for not getting back on defense quickly enough isn’t really how things work with professional athletes. Throughout his six-year stint with the Bulldogs, Stevens was known more as a coach who worked with and believed in his players, which translates much better into the NBA world. Stevens understands that the athletes on the floor are the stars and that’s a big step in the right direction in building strong relationships with players on and off the court. Stevens has often said his philosophy is being able to get the most out of his players and helping them improve in the areas that need improvement. While that seems like a typical answer, I guarantee Pitino was more concerned with offensive and defensive sets than helping guys improve. As for his intellect, it’s hard to argue against Stevens as being the smartest coach in college basketball. During Butler’s NCAA tournament championship runs in 2010 and 2011, he always had the Bulldogs prepared for their next opponent, knowing what plays to run, who to double-team and who to get the ball to in certain situations. Let’s face it, you don’t get a mid-major collegiate basketball program to win 166 games, five conference tournament championships, four regular season conference championships, appear in five NCAA tournaments and reach two NCAA national championship games in six years without knowing what you’re doing. The bottom line? Relax, Boston. You’re new coach isn’t going to disappoint you like Pitino did 12 years ago. The future of the Celtics organization is in good hands. In less fewer than five years, Stevens will have Boston back in the hunt for NBA titles again. The post Brad Stevens: How will he fit in the NBA? appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan


Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

Ben Roethlisberger believes Le’Veon Bell is having MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins and other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.