The Boston Celtics keep getting younger — on the coaching staff as well as the court.
Less than a week after agreeing to trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets — and 10 days after shipping coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers — the Celtics hired Butler’s Brad Stevens as their next coach.
Stevens, 36, twice led the Bulldogs to the NCAA title game, but has no NBA experience as a player or coach.
“Brad and I share a lot of the same values,” Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge said in a release. “Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic. His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court. Brad is a coach who has already enjoyed lots of success, and I look forward to working with him toward Banner 18.”
Stevens has spent the last six years as the coach of Butler, leading the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championship games in 2010 and ’11. He has a career winning percentage of .772 and never won fewer than 22 games in a season.
He takes over a team that is three seasons removed from an appearance in the NBA Finals; the Celtics won their unprecedented 17th championship in 2008. But with Garnett and Pierce showing signs of slowing down in this year’s playoffs, when Boston was eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round, Ainge has decided to rebuild.
He allowed Rivers to take over the Clippers, extracting a first-round draft choice in return. Amid last week’s NBA draft, the Celtics and Nets agreed to a deal that would send Garnett and Pierce to Brooklyn in exchange for a package of players along with three first-round draft picks.
Now Stevens, who is younger than Garnett, will be the one to work with those players.
“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a release issued by the university. “We truly love Butler University and Indianapolis, and are very thankful to have had the opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful things together.”
Rose still recovering
Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose says he’s still recovering from knee surgery and vows to show sitting out last season was the right decision.
In an interview posted Wednesday on the team’s website, Rose said he had to be selfish in his rehab as he tried to work his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and that sitting out was “one of the hardest things” he’s experienced.
Ginobili to stay with Spurs
Manu Ginobili is sticking around to see if the San Antonio Spurs can get back to the top. Ginobili tweeted Wednesday that he is staying with the team he has helped win three NBA titles and nearly a fourth last month.
“Thrilled to announce that as I always hoped, I’m gonna stay with the @Spurs for two more years,” he wrote.
Ginobili, who turns 36 this month, battled injuries during the season and said he would think about retirement after the playoffs. But he helped the Spurs come within 28 seconds of the championship. Details of the contract agreement weren’t available, but Ginobili figures to take a pay cut from the $14.1 million he made last season as the Spurs’ highest-paid player.
Around the league
Indiana signed first-round draft pick Solomon Hill and free-agent guard Donald Sloan. The Pacers did not release terms. … Garrett Temple says he’s returning to the Washington Wizards. The versatile guard said he agreed to a one-year deal for next season.