The news that Brad Stevens would move to the front office to replace the retiring Danny Ainge shocked the entire basketball world on Wednesday. That’s apparently because the Boston Celtics did a very good job of keeping it a secret for quite some time.
Stevens admitted Wednesday that he and Ainge had been talking for “months” about Ainge’s retirement and Stevens replacing him, Stevens said, via Brian Robb of MassLive:
“The thought of going into this position, you know, was never even a thought because Danny was here and he was the best at it and he was the best to work for. When he decided to move on and retire and, you know, go enjoy more time with his family and we talked a little about it whenever that was. I don’t remember the timeline, it’s been a while now. It wasn’t six years ago, it was within the last couple months.
“Then it just kind of moved down the road. (Celtics co-owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca), you know, both talked to me a little bit about it. I talked to Wyc for a while one day and we decided that was what was best.”
Grousbeck even added that the prospect of Stevens succeeding Ainge was something that had been casually discussed between Stevens and Ainge “years ago,” but it had never been seriously talked about until Ainge began thinking of retirement.
In this day and age, it’s genuinely impressive that the Celtics managed to keep such a huge announcement under wraps for months. Even as Stevens was batting away interest from a top college basketball program, his true intentions managed to remain concealed. This also means that Stevens has probably already given thought to potential personnel moves as well as the type of coach he’d like to bring in as his replacement.