Originally Posted by Revering4Blue
IMO, one thing that we have to keep in mind is that most, if not all, of the high-profile college coaches that have failed in the NBA were system coaches that relied on superior athletes to operate their system in college -- Pitino and (using an NFL example) Spurrier come to mind.
By contrast, Stevens managed to reach the NC game two years in a row with players recruited to play in the Horizon League. The fact that one of his players went on to become a Lottery Pick doesn't change that. That's what gives Stevens a fighting chance, IMO. If he can accomplish what he accomplished with said "talent", imagine what he can do with some of the best athletes in the World.
To that end, Ainge's job as GM will mostly make-or-break Stevens from the standpoint of success/winning percentage. The problem now is that the Celtics are kind of in no-man's land, just as the 76ers were until they wisely decided to blow it up on draft day. They are not yet Bobcats/Magic bad. In other words, a high Lottery pick may not be in their future just yet. Given that, IMO, should Stevens "fail" as Celtics coach, I believe it will be largely the result of factors that he has virtually no control over, but that is the risk you take as a coach when you jump to the NBA.
All of that said, Stevens will be under contract for six years. I'm willing to bet that Stevens lasts longer in Boston than Doc Rivers lasts in LA dealing with Donald Sterling.
I think Stevens would have been a great hire for a team like Indiana or even Oklahoma City, a small market team that is under the radar. Even if Stevens has some success, Boston and the Lakers are the two flagship teams of the NBA when it comes to reverence, such as the Yankees in baseball. Boston fans were merciless on Rick Pitino, and he had accomplished more in college than what Stevens did heading to the NBA.
His first year there are no expectations, especially if the Celtics go all in for a top pick in the draft next season. Even if they don't win the Wiggins sweepstakes, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, and Andrew Harrison are nice consolation prizes. This is nothing like the Tim Duncan draft where it was Duncan or bust. If he starts laying the foundation within the next two years and setting up a nice nucleus, unless he wins a championship, I see him getting Rick Carlisle'd in year three (replaced with a NBA experienced coach, in that case Larry Brown)
I'm a Celtics fan and I am kinda surprised George Karl wasn't the pick. The job he did with the Nuggets was remarkable and if the Celtics are looking to rebuild with young talent, Karl would have been the guy, even if he has a Larry Brown track record of alienating people.