BOSTON (CBS) – Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak caught up with Celtics coach Brad Stevens Friday afternoon as he sat on the team bus heading to shootaround in preparation for tonight’s game against the Lakers.
Perhaps the only thing worse than sitting in Los Angeles traffic is the week leading up to the NBA trade deadline. Sure the rumor mill and speculation can be fun, but nine times out of ten it leads to nowhere.
Stevens revealed he’s not involved in trade discussions and that he’s only there to offer an opinion in the latter stages of a potential deal.
“My role is they’ll let me know if something is very close and gauge my opinion on it. It doesn’t mean my opinion will carry weight or anything like that. I’m just another person they’ll ask about it. It never got to that point with anything, so it was much ado about nothing all week for me.”
Stevens said there was a lot of rumors surrounding his team and it was important for him to just be honest and open to his players about their futures and likelihood of being dealt.
“I really shared that with our team. I wanted them to feel like,’ Hey you never know what’s going to happen at the last minute, but we like the guys in our locker room. Sometimes the trade deadline is gonna produce lots of rumors that aren’t true and a lot that are, but don’t get caught up in it because it it doesn’t look like ultimately much is going to happen.'”
With a combined record of 37-72, the Celtics-Lakers game taking place later today just doesn’t have the same buzz surrounding it as in year’s past.
Stevens said it’s hard to get caught up in the rivalry aspect of it because his goal is to make the Celtics a top 10 defensive team in the league, and despite his team’s record he’s been pleased with their effort and competitiveness all season.
With 27 games left on the docket Stevens’ main objective is to continue to build a top third defense, which is something he wants to accomplish “not only for the remainder of this season, but for every season hereafter.”
Other than Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk participating in the Rising Stars Challenge, no Celtics were involved in the All Star Weekend festivities.
Coach Brad Stevens relished the opportunity to get back to the film, which helps pay dividends on quick turnarounds and back-to-backs.
Listen below for the full interview: