Boston — Brad Stevens says he wasn’t close to leaving the Boston Celtics for the coaching job at Indiana University.
In fact, he says he never received an offer.
“I was never offered a package. That’s all news to me. Secondly, I wasn’t going to leave anyways,” Stevens said before Boston hosted Chicago on Monday. “I was never offered that. I don’t know where that came from.”
ESPN reported earlier this week that Indiana was prepared to offer the 44-year-old Stevens a seven-year contract worth $70 million. A native of Indiana who took Butler to back-to-back NCAA championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, Stevens was a top candidate for the Hoosiers job after Archie Miller was fired last month. Former NBA coach Mike Woodson was hired on March 28.
“This place has been so good to our family, so good to me, and we owe them — especially in the middle of a very trying time and a very trying season,” Stevens said.
He said whether it was an open college or another NBA job, he believes he owes it to those who hired him in 2013 to be the Celtics coach “to stay the course.”
“I don’t know how long I’m going to coach. I don’t know how long I’m going to coach in the NBA. I don’t know how long they’ll want me to coach in the NBA,” Stevens said. “I am thrilled to be the Celtics head coach and it is a great challenge and a great responsibility.”
Stevens is 349-272 in his eighth season with the Celtics. He’s taken Boston to the playoffs in six of those seasons, taking it to the Eastern Conference finals three times. He has a 37-36 overall record in the postseason.
The Celtics entered Monday 31-26 and tied with Atlanta for the fourth-best record in the East.