July 14, 2024

“Those two had achieved more than most 25, 26-year-olds ever had and the scrutiny was because they were playing in May and June.”

When it comes to expressing satisfaction at seeing Celtics critics proven wrong by the team’s 2024 NBA Championship, even Brad Stevens is savoring the moment.

Boston’s usually toned-down president of basketball operations cut loose — at least by his own standards — following the 106-88 Game 5 win in the NBA Finals on Monday night, clinching the team’s 18th title. Stevens enjoyed some deserved celebrations, stopping for a moment to speak with NBA reporter Rachel Nichols.

On the subject of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Stevens didn’t hold back. Asked by Nichols about how he feels seeing “the Jays” break through and win a title after years of criticism, Stevens sounded off.

“I think the criticism is stupid,” he said. “So I don’t care. I’m with Jaylen on that.”

“Those two had achieved more than most 25, 26-year-olds ever had, and the scrutiny was because they were playing in May and June,” Stevens explained.

“As a good friend of mine said, I’d rather be in the mix and have my guts ripped out than suck,” he added. “And those two have been really good for a long time.”

Stevens oversaw the growth of Brown and Tatum in Boston from multiple perspectives. He was their head coach until 2021, when Danny Ainge’s departure left a vacancy in the team’s top executive role.

Since then, Stevens has helped to shape the roster around the two young superstars. His ability to reform the roster on multiple levels, acquiring eventual championship starters like Derrick White and Jrue Holiday — also re-acquiring Al Horford and trading for Kristaps Porzingis — all contributed to the team’s finally securing an 18th banner.

The victory is also a special one for Stevens in particular. Having reached championships at both the college and professional level (coaching Butler to back-to-back national championship game appearances, and reaching the 2022 NBA Finals in his first year as a Boston executive), this is his first title win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *