Letter to Brad Stevens: The interim coach needs to be you!

·3 min read

Sep. 23—Dear Brad,

It's only been a year, a great year at that, and I get it ... You love your new gig as "President Brad Stevens."

Pick some players. Work the phones. Check in with the head coach. Get home for dinner. Coach the kids. Sleep eight hours. And, best of all, compete for a championship.

The 2022-23 season, according to oddsmakers, was going to be a "rinse and repeat" year.

But then news late last night of Ime Udoka, your head coach, the guy you hired, having an inappropriate relationship with a Boston Celtics employee and his impending suspension.

Of course, that came after your off-the-bench acquisition, Danilo Gallinari, tore his ACL and is gone for the year, and yesterday it was learned your freakish center, Robert Williams, is possibly going to miss about two months after knee surgery.

So now, immediately on your docket, is finding the "interim" guy, probably for the next eight months (hopefully).

I have some advice, knowing there is no time for nationwide search.

And I've heard about some guy named "Joe" being the early consensus pick to fill in. (Don't even think about that one!)

This is not coaching for a "playoff spot." This going for the Holy Grail, with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams and Malcolm Brodgon all in the primes of their careers.

Championship-contending windows open and close, sometimes instantly.

It has been rumored that assistant 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla is obvious choice.

Really, Brad?

Unless you are pretty sure this is the next Brad Stevens or John Calipari, a smart guy, former coach's son named "Joe" won't cut it.

There is only one choice to be the interim coach. You know it. and I know it. One!

You.

Yeah, you! Brad Stevens.

Whoever said "Desperate times call for desperate measures" could've easily been referring to the Celtics current situation.

There is precedence here in Boston with a Team President stepping back into to coaching fray.

Former Boston Bruins president Harry Sinden left his cushy office for the bench twice, in 1980 and 1985, after a coaching change.

This is different in that those coaching changes didn't save a championship-contending team from ruins.

You know everything about every player on the roster. You were part of the process of acquiring and/or coaching every player on the roster.

You going to the bench sends a message to your players, particularly your stars, that this is about competing for a championship. No excuses.

Your life won't be the same as last year. You'll watch too much film and stay in too many hotels.

The Celtics don't just need a coach. They need someone who can deal with this mess of an offseason.

At this point, with training camp, there is only one candidate.

I know one thing. It isn't some guy named "Joe."

Oh yeah, if you do take this advice/recommendation, good luck. You're going to need it.

You can email Bill Burt at bburt@eagletribune.com.