The Boston Celtics didn’t wait until the end of the NBA Playoffs and the crowning of a new NBA Champion to start the retooling of their roster, trading guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal last week that brought veteran forward Al Horford back to Boston.
The trade signified the franchise’s shift to a core centered on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and new general manager Brad Stevens (who stepped down as the head coach to take the new front office role) offered a unique take on the organization’s new mission moving forward.
“I’ve told everybody I’ve talked to in a weird, kind of a messed-up way, I’m looking forward to the first time we lose and I can walk in there and put my arm around them and say, ‘I’ve lost a ton here” Stevens said, according to NBC Sports Boston. “Let’s go get a coffee, let’s go grab a beer. It’s OK. It’s part of a long journey.’ I think I’m looking forward to that, just being supportive and staying out it from a coaching perspective.”
Stevens believes that loss will help them grow, and is committed to continuing the long journey that has and will have hurdles along the way.
“I’ve stayed in close contact. I talked to several of the guys right after (the Walker trade) and have been in very close contact throughout the past couple of weeks with both Jaylen and Jayson specifically, but that’s not unusual.”