Generally speaking, college coaches encounter some hard feelings when they leave a school while under contract. There is often talk of betrayal and loyalty and “I thought we were a family.”
It’s sometimes the case, too, for professional coaches who execute a departure (see: Rivers, Glenn “Doc”).

But Brad Stevens has yet to be told not to let the door hit him on the hind quarters as he leaves Butler University for the Celtics. Part of this — according to Pacers’ radio voice Mark Boyle and team PR man David Benner — is that Stevens is so well liked, and appreciated for the way he took the Bulldogs from mid-major to a pair of NCAA championship games.

Part of it, too, is that in choosing the Celtics, he is going to a team that has always had a certain measure of popularity in Indiana. The Larry Bird years certainly raised the profile of the C’s, to the point the Celts’ radio network had an outlet in the state, but Indiana also very much embraces basketball tradition.

That gives it a natural affinity for the team from Boston. Heck, the Celtics’ uniforms still look like something out of “Hoosiers,” albeit with modern material.

“When we go to Indiana to play, there’s always a ton of Celtics fans there,” said Celtics assistant coach Jamie Young, an Indiana native. “I think a lot of it has to do with Larry, but I think there were some Celtic fans there from way back when the Pacers were an ABA team and maybe even before that.

“I was probably more a Pacer fan myself, but there were a lot of Celtic fans all around Indiana.”
Stevens, meanwhile, has yet to catch any grief even though he’s leaving a contract that was to run through 2022.