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Brad Stevens is a smart man

You heard it first from Matt Jones on the day of the announcement: Brad Stevens’ hiring to the Boston Celtics is the first step to his becoming the head coach at Kentucky.

Looking back at the last handful of coaches that have made the leap from the college ranks to the NBA, it doesn’t seem bode well for Stevens. The prime examples from right here in the Bluegrass, Rick Pitino and John Calipari are reason enough for citizens of the Commonwealth to shake their heads in disbelief. Since 1993 eight coaches have made the jump, and none have made a dent in the face of the NBA.

1994-97: P.J. Carlesimo (Seton Hall to Portland Trail Blazers): 136-109
1996-99: John Calipari (UMass to New Jersey Nets): 72-112
1997-2001: Rick Pitino (Kentucky to Boston Celtics): 102-146
1998-2002: Tim Floyd (Iowa State to Chicago Bulls): 49-190
2000-01: Leonard Hamilton (Miami (FL) To Washington Wizards): 19-63
2000-03: Lon Kruger (Illinois to Atlanta Hawks): 69-122
2004-06: Mike Montgomery (Stanford to Golden State Warriors): 68-96
2007-09: Reggie Theus (New Mexico State to Sacramento Kings): 44-62

That is a combined winning percentage of .383 with a collective 3-12 playoff record in 22 seasons. The average tenure of the eight coaches was just 2.75 years.

Stevens leaving Butler after turning down so many solid college destinations over the last few years is a head-scratching decision but certainly not one that was short sighted. Despite facing tough odds of success, Stevens is a winner in the long run no matter what.

The more you think about the timing of his leap to the NBA, the more is starts making sense that this is a win-win move for the future. Either he rebuilds the Celtics into a championship team while floating along on this six-year $22 million contract, or he gets the same treatment his predecessors have received in three or four years and he becomes the leading candidate for any NCAA coaching job available… Including Kentucky.

We all know John Calipari won’t be the coach of the Wildcats forever. He has publically stated he doesn’t plan to coach well into his 60’s. He is 54 right now. That gives the Cats the possibility of at least five more years, just around the time Stevens might possibly be on his last legs in Boston.

Even if Kentucky is not Stevens’ end goal (but what kind of crazy man wouldn’t have UK as a destination job?) he will be able to pick and choose his next job even more so than he did while at Butler. After all, he did turn down UCLA. Add the massive pay upgrade and the possibility of a buyout if he is fired, Brad Stevens will be in the comfiest driver’s seat imaginable.

In five or so years Brad Stevens will be on the cusp of legendary status regardless; resurrecting a franchise on life support into NBA Champions, or poised to become the next NCAA coaching great at a blue-blood program. Either way, he can probably get used to living that life.

After all of his success in Lexington, it is hard to imagine a coach other than John Calipari leading the Wildcats onto the court, especially when a 2014 title is looming not too far away. But think about it…

The head coach of your Kentucky Wildcats: Brad Stevens.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

47 Comments for Brad Stevens is a smart man

  1. Random
    3:04 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This is beyond retarded

  2. UK
    3:05 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Lets not push Cal outta town because I want him here as long as he wants to be here. But when he does leave…..

    SHAKA SMART over Brad Stevena

  3. Stupid
    3:06 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Who the hell would want Brad Stevens here? Stuart you just took Corey Nichols title as worst writer on KSR. Give me Robic or give me death.

  4. Eric
    3:06 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t see it happening, he will either lead Boston back, but if he doesnt, it would not surprise me to see him back at Butler. He loves that school and loves Indy.

  5. cracka
    3:07 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    things are a little different now, there’s a ton of young guys in the league, guys 19-21 who’d usually still be in school … besides, who else would take this job? they just had their entire team leave. rondo better get his j ready for next year

  6. Ummm....
    3:07 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t understand why KSR is running with this story…this is the dumbest $h!+ ever. Cal is our coach currently and will be for a long time. I don’t know why this crap should even be mentioned…it’s retarded

  7. Sammydog
    3:09 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Silly to even suggest this. Don’t want Brad Stevens at KY anyway. Terrible idea. Would prefer Coach Robic Or Coach Antiqua.

  8. Philuk18
    3:10 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I like Stevens, and think he’s a great coach but I’m not sure it would be the best move for him or UK. Obviously he would have to adjust his style somewhat with the better players he could get to play at UK as opposed to Butler, but he’s generally been a coach of boring albeit successful basketball. I don’t want to see UK teams holding the ball for 35 seconds, and fouling a lot like his Butler teams have. That’s not the UK way, we’ve always played up tempo, fun basketball since Rupp.

  9. Repetitive Speculation
    3:10 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Wow another post about the same thing, that’s crazy! First of all,
    this is ridiculous to speculate on this coming to fruition, whenever Stevens
    does leave the Celtics. Secondly, who is to say when Cal does decide
    to retire that Stevens will be the right man for the job? In the event that the timing
    does coincide, Stevens will probably be on the list of coaches UK will have interest
    in, but I think it’s way too early to speculate this occurring.

  10. RichieFarmer'sMustache
    3:10 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This site used to bring us Kentucky news in the “most ridiculous manner possible”. Now it just brings ridiculous garbage. I’m going to let my dog enter the next “Who Want’s To Be A Blogger” contest since he can write better than these hacks.

  11. Philuk18
    3:11 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink


    And his knees. I feel bad for Rondo, coming off a terrible injury and now has essentially 0 good teammates to pass to. Unlucky situation all around for him

  12. Repetitive Speculation
    3:11 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    In the time it took to write my earlier comment, it seems 8 other people feel the same way

  13. what
    3:15 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Hey everyone! I just redeemed a $25 RP code from this website! I was a bit skeptical at first, but it worked out pretty well! Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
    Have a nice day!

  14. Cats,Cats,Cats
    3:21 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I’m a big KSR fan, but have to agree with the others. Just stop this nonsense.

    As #8 said, Stevens may be a very good coach, but that alone doesn’t translate into being a good fit for the UK job. A charismatic personality and top-notch PR capabilities are equally important as the Xs and 0s for the head coach here. Will need someone in the Calipari mold. I’m hoping when the time comes and Cal reaches the age he has mentioned, he changes his mind. He may find that he’s not ready to hang it up just yet. Especially if we have the success I think we will reach in the next few years.

    Let’s enjoy what we have. We are in the midst of something very special.

  15. Poster
    3:21 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Oh my is this stupid. What is wrong with you all? Matt Jones included. I’m sure this is part of his master plan to eventually coach at Kentucky.

  16. Spoderman
    3:24 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Bred Steeveens wunt b de U Que coch cuz heee neds sum cecuritie ef heee suks it up, sumting he wunt get en U Que.

  17. UKSupporter76
    3:24 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Stop. Posting. This nonsense. This is the best site around to get UK Sports News. It is the worst site in the world for editorials. This isn’t “the most ridiculous manner possible” it’s just the worst take imaginable on a story. This is Jerry-Tipton-Interviewing-MKG level bad. Not to mention blatantly stealing the guts of a CBS story without giving credit. Nice list of coaches, but I’m pretty sure I saw it before.

  18. bluehorse
    3:25 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I actually know Brad and all I will say is that Matt Jones and these other UK fans need to get off the idea that Brad will ever coach at UK. Brad has a strong dislike for anything UK related as he was raised in a very pro IU household. Brad will have success at Boston so a lot of this talk is silly.

  19. Poster
    3:25 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    8) I agree, his success with Butler has spawned a bunch of copy cat coaches teaching this holding and hacking defense, and holding the ball on offense. It is terrible to watch. I don’t think most Wildcat fans would want to be watching 60-58 games.

  20. Whoopty Do
    3:28 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Ooooh Matt said it first. Cool! Stevens is not a great recruiter. He would be more Tubby than Cal. Stop this blasphemy and bow down to Coal Cal, in whom we trust.

  21. Mattjonesisugly
    3:29 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Uk fans should be more concerned with their three ineligible players.

  22. nerts
    3:30 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with most of these posts. Plus, UK is not every coach’s dream job and it is very egocentric of us to think so.

  23. RichieFarmer'sMustache
    3:32 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    17) This USED to be the best site around to UK sports news. I’ve been coming to this site since the beginning, but I need some suggestions for other UK sites.

  24. Cats,Cats,Cats
    3:33 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    And #21, you should be more concerned with your own team…….. U of L or IU?

  25. Ridge Runner
    3:36 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Cart ahead of the proverbial horse however…

  26. This Coffee taste like Shhh
    3:37 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This is beyond ignorant!!!! First of all he just got hired to the NBA!!! WTF does that have to do with being the next coach at KY? We have a good school with a good coach, why is everyone so entitled that we are THE place to be? Who says he even wants to be here? DUMB writers man, this makes no sense!! It kind of pisses me off as a fan that our representers of supposed writers would even think like this….

  27. Ridge Runner
    3:37 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    If it’s a passing thought, ok. But we now need to just stop.

  28. brain
    3:40 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Stupid as hell to be thinking about replacing Cal. Just because he says he won’t coach into his 60’s now doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind.

  29. Change of Heart
    3:47 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Rick didn’t plan to coach into his nineties, but look at him now. We can only hope Cal has the same change of heart through the success he will have.

  30. BigBlue
    3:53 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Brad Stevens would not want to coach at UK. As i few have mentioned here, it is fairly well known that Stevens is big Indiana man. I can see him coaching at IU but never UK. Who is behind all of this pushing of Brad Stevens?? Who cares about Brad Stevens. We don’t need a dam hoosier for a coach.

  31. I Sure Hope
    3:58 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Calipari doesn’t read KSR because you guys are being ridiculous with this Brad Stevens garbage.

    Bad form KSR, bad form.

  32. JC3
    3:58 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    No Stuart. Just no.

    Not to mention I would end my life, if he ever became the coach at the University of Kentucky.

  33. Philuk18
    4:01 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink


    Even if he does read it (pretty sure he doesn’t), I doubt Cal would let what a no name blogger on a UK fan site writes affect him much.

  34. Corey Davis
    4:04 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This has to be Matt trolling the fanbase, right? Right?

    Brad Stevens is great. He isn’t wired for Kentucky. Do you know anything about him outside of the fact he’s a two-time national runner-up? He’s a reserved, foot twirling, eye to the ground type of character. Polar opposite of Cal. The one thing is common is that they win. Stevens can win here, but I believe this job would eventually eat him up and spit him out. Moreover, his personality type excels in the NBA. He’s entirely different than any of his aforementioned predecessors who jumped from the collegiate level. He’ll do great if Boston remains patient. Should he fail, Duke needs to throw a blank check at him. It’s essentially the father of the Butler job. More importantly, the job is a better fit for Brad Stevens.

    I think Matt did a little too much partying on the fourth. Drink a sugar free red bull (or monster rehab), take two ibuprofen’s, and scarf down an egg white McMuffin. Maybe that’ll help you shake off that awful, awful take.

  35. Mc
    4:18 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Butler has been the best team in Indiana this past decade, and for that I laugh a little, and applaud him. However, this is just dumb. Let’s speculate on who our next coach will be when our coach announces his retirement. That’s just crazy talk though.

  36. You can call me Cal
    4:24 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Y’all are ridiculous. I think Stevens will have success in the NBA. He doesn’t have a big ego, which is what kills most college coaches making the leap. This is evidenced by his willingness to stay at a mid major and not have to move to a big time college job. He played this perfectly, getting the job at one if most storied clubs in the League. His humility will help him deal with the egos of all the players. Cal and Rick didn’t have that.

  37. This post is garbage
    4:29 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Dumb dumb dumb. This is just baseless malarkey. Remember: posting nothing is better than posting garbage.

  38. Wild Blue
    4:35 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Please stop this outlandish speculation. Much can and will happen over the next few years. I hope we have Cal for many, many years.

  39. blueaville
    4:40 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not sure I would want Stevens. Can he recruit at our level? I have my doubts about that.

  40. Coach Ooooo
    5:04 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    For a UK site to even speculate a future coaching change while in the midst of one of the greatest stretches in program history is being ignorant. Enjoy Cal and his awesomeness because anyone after him won’t be able to maintain his lofty standards, especially Stevens. Give me coach O even without head DI experience because he can keep things going and hire other assistants with x’s and o’s knowledge all the while continuing to dominate the recruiting scene like Cal.

  41. Bluebee
    5:05 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Is KSR trying to offend Calipari and the fan base at the same time? Is this some type of psychological test your conducting? I never want a low key, non-personality, nerdy Brad Stevens to ever run the UK program. Get off this topic! He cannot hold CALs jock strap.

  42. Jim 1
    5:19 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Stories based on pure spectulation is a waste of KSR’s time. KSR would benefit more from stories on current and past players, commits and future recruits, in both BB & FB etc.

    Write a lot more about UK sports at hand and a lot less on someone spectulating their own opinion.

  43. kentuckyjoe
    5:33 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Cal is the only coach we want or should even be thinking about. Brad Stevens couldn’t carry Cal’s gym bag.

  44. Ricky Bobby
    5:41 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    That’s it! I just made a personal vow to stop visiting this site b/c of stupid crap like this. Enjoy Cal and stop talking about something in the future that serves no other purpose than to tick off your current coach. Tomorrow I’m going to Boone’s Butcher shop, to buy a blackened steak then will tell them it’s the last time I”m shopping there as long as they sponsor crap sites like this. Enough of this talk already!

  45. Eric
    5:46 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    44.) couldn’t have said it better myself. I was under the impression that it was a journalist job to report facts, not their opinions

  46. hee haw
    5:55 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Good idea, 44. I’m with you – sayonara, KSR!

  47. haha
    6:01 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Another pathetic post by Stuart Hammer. This dude is awful!!!