On the same day he was awarded the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award and on the heels of clinching the 7-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Brad Stevens appeared on the Dan Patrick Show to talk mostly about the rebuild job he's done in Boston... and of course, if he'd ever consider a return to college.
Fill-in host Chris Mannix specifically asked Stevens about his reaction to reports of his interest in college jobs and returning to that level, specifically at Indiana. The response was one the former Butler coach has given before:
"I don't put any stock into (those reports). Very rarely do people even ask me about it. Even when we went on those runs at Butler, with that winning and with those players playing as well as they did and with that attention, the thing to talk about after the season is where those coaches are going.
I said this in article when I was interviewed by Paul Flannery earlier in the season, you know, "I've left one place once, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done. All the people that you work with, all the roots you put down, that was my hometown. I'm really invested in making this the best it can be. And you know, I'm hopeful that the toughest of times are behind. But this is a hard league... My focus is on this team right now."
Mannix then asked if Stevens found the pro game "more fun" because he didn't have to deal with recruiting. It's been speculated by some that this was a reason that the "X's-and-O's nerd" Stevens wanted to make the jump to the NBA. The 2nd-year coach debunked that.
"You know I liked recruiting. Because we cast a pretty small net. We went after guys that would fit our program and would do well in the classroom at Butler and fit our system, and obviously, were really good players. So, that part, you get to know guys. You get to spend time with them. That's where in the NBA, you gotta coach a guy you met 20 minutes ago, tomorrow. You don't know how they tick. They don't know how you do things. When you recruit a kid from 15-16 and he shows up on your campus at 18, they should know you pretty well and know what they're getting themselves into. That makes it a lot more challenging when you're coaching in this league. But it's fun coachiing in the NBA. It's fun coaching in college. I could coach anywhere and have fun."
You'd be out-of-touch with reality if you'd expect Stevens to say anything different, but he speaks like a man that's quite content with the niche he's carving out in the NBA. You can listen to the interview yourself below, but it seems like Indiana fans best turn their attention elsewhere if they'd like to begin assembling a wish-list of coaches to replace Tom Crean one day.