BOSTON (CBS) — Brad Stevens is now at the head of the table for the Boston Celtics. But he’s still pretty green as the president of basketball ops. for the franchise, so he does still check in with his old boss, Danny Ainge.
Stevens spoke with the media on Monday to discuss his first major move as head honcho of the C’s, which he pulled off last Friday, sending Kemba Walker and a first-round pick to Oklahoma City for Al Horford and Moses Brown. Stevens said the move, which shed Walker’s contract, gave Boston more financial flexibility, sounding a lot like Ainge in the process.READ MORE: Celtics Announce Ime Udoka's Full Coaching Staff
That’s probably because he’s still reaching out to Ainge for some career advice in his new role.
“I talk to Danny all the time. I called him the other day, he was out on a golf course. The day before he was with his family. I still bug him, unfortunately for him,” Stevens said Monday. “He has such a vast experience in this and it’s great to run everything by him. He’s gonna be around and I told him to be around as much as you want to be around, because he has done so much for all of us and is really, really good with this.”READ MORE: Dennis Schroder Is Letting Fans Vote For Which Number He'll Wear With Celtics
Ainge stepped down after Boston was eliminated from the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets, with Stevens moving from the bench to the front office.
But Ainge isn’t the only voice that Stevens is listening to as he tries to reshape the Celtics. He’s also checking in with his star players: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
“I’ve stayed in close contact [with players]. Talked to several of the guys the other day right after the trade and have been in very close contact the last couple of weeks with both Jayson and Jaylen specifically,” he said. “That’s not unusual, whether I was in a coaching role or this role.”MORE NEWS: Paul Pierce Officially Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame
That’s good news, considering Stevens’ next big task if hiring his replacement on the bench, who will try to lead Tatum, Brown and the Celtics to a title.