BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics head coach Brad Stevens joined some great company Monday night, notching the 250th regular season win of his career. Stevens joined Red Auerbach, Tommy Heinsohn, Doc Rivers and K.C. Jones as the only coaches in Boston Celtics history to reach the 250-win mark.
It’s an impressive milestone for the 42-year-old, reaching the mark in five-and-a-half seasons. It’s even more impressive given that he took over a rebuilding Celtics team in 2013-14 and won just 25 games in his first season in the NBA. Stevens’ teams have increased their win percentage in each of the last five years, making him just the second coach to enjoy such success to start his career (joining current Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, who accomplished the feat in Atlanta). The C’s won 40 games in Stevens’ second season at the helm and made the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed, with their win total climbing to 48 in 2015-16 to earn the fifth seed. They were eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs in both instances.
But things have turned around drastically over the last two seasons, with Boston climbing to 53 wins in 2015-16 to earn the top spot in the East. Boston won 55 games last season, good for the second seed, and Stevens guided them to the Eastern Conference finals both years.
The Celtics are a disappointing 29-18 at the moment, though the season’s success will be measured by what they do in the playoffs more than the regular season. In true Stevens fashion, he said it’s an honor just to be a head coach in the NBA after reaching the milestone on Monday.
“When you’re in coaching you never think you’re going to get one, and you’re always like, ‘How do you possibly get the next one?’ So, I haven’t even thought about it,” he said following Monday’s win over the Miami Heat. “It’s just an honor to coach here and to get a chance to coach in this league against coaches like Erik Spoelstra.”
Stevens and Miami’s Spoelstra are two of the six active coaches in the NBA to reach the 250-win mark with their team.
Stevens is now 58 wins behind K.C. Jones, who went 308-102 in his five seasons on the Boston bench. Doc Rivers is next on the all-time list with 416 wins, followed by Tommy Heinsohn’s 427. Patriarch Red Auberbach stands alone with 795 career victories.
While regular season wins can pile up in a hurry, Stevens will also need to add a championship to his resume to stack up with the others on Boston’s all-time list. Rivers owns one, Jones and Heinsohn each earned two during their days as Boston’s head coach (plus several others as players), and Auerbach is the king of kings with nine.