Before Sunday's Super Bowl, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens gushed about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and marveled at the team's sustained gridiron success.
"He’s an unbelievable coach and he’s done an unbelievable job throughout his entire tenure," said Stevens. "I think he’s one of the guys that people across sports look up to. When you talk about people in basketball like that, you probably talk about the [Gregg] Popovichs of the world, he’s in that. Basketball people look at Belichick like people across other sports probably look at Pop.
"I think it’s an incredible thing what they’ve accomplished over time. It’s incredible that they are back in that moment again, and playing as well as they have throughout the entire year. I’ve exchanged text messages with him, but I’ve never met him in person. He’s certainly been good in those conversations. And he’s one of the best to ever do it, I don’t think there’s any question about that."
Colleague Jackie MacMullan wrote this week wondering if the Patriots were the Spurs of the NBA. Stevens has embraced the opportunity to learn from Popovich when the Spurs and Celtics cross paths, and Stevens noted a desire to pick Belichick's brain down the road.
Asked about those text message exchanges between Boston pro coaches, Stevens said the messages are, "More just encouragement; more just checking in and encouragement, more than anything else. First of all, it would be one-sided if it was about coaching. It would be me asking him what the heck to do. So, hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit down at some point in the future and talk to him. Obviously he’s incredible."
After the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in thrilling fashion in Super Bowl XLIX, the Celtics Tweeted out their congratulations:
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 2, 2015