Brad Stevens tells radio, reporters he’s ‘flattered’ by IU fans but happy with the Celtics

The consensus, apparent No. 1 choice of Indiana fans to be the Hoosiers’ next basketball coach was asked both on radio and in a pre-game press meeting about the Indiana job and in both cases said he was flattered but planned to stick with his current job.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, the Zionsville High School and DePauw graduate who led Butler to back-to-back national title game appearances in 2010 and 2011, was told on NBC Sports Boston — as if he didn’t already know — that Indiana fans were hoping he’d be Archie Miller’s successor.

“That’s nice of them,” Stevens said.”That really is. Listen, that’s home. I get it. I appreciate all the nice sentiments. It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s certainly very kind.”

However, he said he is not quitting his job to go back to Indiana.

Stevens was asked again during his standard pre-game availability before the Celtics home game with the Utah Jazz.

“That place drove my passion for basketball,” Stevens said according to several reports from the Zoom call with reporters. “For me growing up, it was certainly IU. It’s flattering, but I also realize I’m the coach of the Celtics and it’s been an amazing challenge and opportunity the last eight years.”

The Celtics are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference at 20-18, half a game behind the defending conference champion Miami Heat for the No. 4 spot but 6 1/2 back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the top spot in the conference. Stevens has led the Celtics to the playoffs in six of his seven complete seasons in Boston and has taken them to the Eastern Conference Finals three times but never further. Their disappointing start has led to some grumbling among the Celtics fanbase, but they would obviously still be in position if the season ended today to be in the postseason again.