Boston, MA - We are still deep in the trenches of the NBA off-season, but at this point, with free agents signed and major trades completed, the light can certainly be seen at the end of the tunnel. As teams are still just starting to reconvene, most of what Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens' job has been is to give interviews on the plethora of questions surrounding the team and the other factors in the league that could impact Boston's quest for an eighteenth title.
Most of the comments delivered by Stevens in recent days came from his interview on the NBA specific podcast from Yahoo Sports. One query that popped up during this episode was how Stevens will manage the expectations that come with being the pre-season, runaway favorites to win the Eastern Conference now that LeBron James has joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the West. Sure, on paper, Boston is NBA Finals bound, but there have been many teams in the past that were considered favorites and could not close the deal.
Stevens said that the challenge is to be the best version of the team that the Celtics can be. He approaches this in a day by day manner. His goal is to win one day and then win the next without ever keeping their eyes on the prize in the future.
Regarding if whether or not he is distracted by the future (like, Kyrie Irving leaving in free agency at the end of this season, for example), Stevens made it clear that he will not be commenting on Kyrie's situation. He said Boston is a committed, great environment and that is all he would say.
Stevens also went on to detail that the team had ten players who could theoretically start for the team so one of his focuses will be on ensuring that every player (from Irving to Aron Baynes) is happy in his role and will continue to produce what the team requires of him. Everyone has their role to play and Stevens' goals aim to make sure that all players feel valued.