Despite everything which he has gone through this year with the Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens has still managed to guide the team to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Yet, he isn't being recognised for his achievements, and this has annoyed one of his former players in Isaiah Thomas.
The Celtics booked their spot in the Conference Finals last night with a series-clinching win over the Philadelphia 76ers despite having some of their key players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on the sidelines. Yet, although they've had some major setbacks, Stevens hasn't been acknowledged for his great achievement.
The Celtics head coach didn't receive a vote from his peers in balloting for the Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year Award. Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey won the award, as voted by the league's 30 coaches, and eight other coaches received votes.
These coaches include Philadelphia's Brett Brown, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, Indiana's Nate McMillan, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, LA Clippers' Doc Rivers, Utah's Quin Snyder and Portland's Terry Stotts. Stevens didn't receive one vote, which Isaiah Thomas isn't happy with.
Thomas said: "No way in hell Brad Stevens doesn’t win Coach of the year. No disrespect to the other head coaches but He’s by far the best coach in the NBA."
Stevens himself, however, wasn't too bothered by the fact he wasn't considered for the Coach of the Year award. He said to ESPN: "The way that thing works is you get one vote. And I'm telling you, I looked at the sheet and there's no way that I would have voted for me over any of the other 29 people.
"And the guy that should have won got it. And the other guys that got votes, they're unbelievable.
"I'm stealing from those guys all the time. It's so incredible to have an opportunity to be one of 30. And I think it's a lot more important to just focus on competing with your team rather than trying to compare yourself to others. Because I'm telling you, if it gets to be a comparison contest, I'm screwed."
Game 1 between the Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals takes place this Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston.
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