Brad Stevens feels like an experienced coach at this point. Kevin Garnett, though he's been around forever, is just a player. Both now have deep roots with the Celtics.
Garnett won a ring in Boston in 2008. Stevens is trying to do the same thing this year or the next or the following one. Because of all that, it's easy to forget a simple fact: KG and Stevens are the same age. Apparently, the link doesn't end there.
People never think of Stevens actually playing the game since he never made it to the NBA, but he was quite the performer back in his day, too. Stevens played in college at DePauw in the late '90s. You can actually see some of his highlights in this video:
Unfortunately, he's not quite as good as KG.
“I'm the same age as Kevin,” Stevens said.
He's right — both are 39 — even though they took such different paths to the NBA. Garnett did so, of course, as a player, directly out of high school and into a 21-year pro career. Stevens did it in a more circuitous path as a coach, arriving in Boston as something of a prodigy after achieving great collegiate success at Butler.
“I played in gyms when he was playing on the court next to me,” Stevens said, recalling AAU tournaments when both were 17. “And I would sneak a peek while I sat on the bench for our team and watched his game. He's special … he wasn't highly touted when he walked in the game. He was when we all saw him. He was long, agile, athletic and a heck of a player and everybody knew him by then, even before the Internet.”