BOSTON — The Green are getting greener.
With aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on their way to the Brooklyn Nets and Doc Rivers coaching the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics hired 36-year-old Brad Stevens from Butler as their next head coach Wednesday.
The move turns the tradition-bound franchise over to a mentor who is younger than Garnett and wasn’t yet born when Bill Russell won his 11th NBA championship in 1969 (or even when John Havlicek added two more in the 1970s). It’s the first time the Celtics have hired a college coach since Rick Pitino in 1997, and their first coach with no NBA experience of any kind since Alvin “Doggie” Julian gave way to Red Auerbach in 1950.
“Though he is young, I see Brad as a great leader who leads with impeccable character and a strong work ethic,” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said in a release. “His teams always play hard and execute on both ends of the court.”
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The Celtics gave Stevens a six-year contract worth about $22 million, a basketball official with knowledge of the deal told AP.
Stevens has spent the past 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.
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• Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose said he’s still recovering from knee surgery and vows to show sitting out last season was the right decision.
• The Indiana Pacers signed first-round draft pick Solomon Hill from Arizona and free-agent guard Donald Sloan.
• Former NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings plans to sign a four-year, $44 million offer sheet with the New Orleans Pelicans on the first allowable day, July 10, ESPN.com reported.
• Kyle Korver has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks worth an estimated $24 million,