Brad Stevens shrugs off lack of COY votes from peers

BOSTON -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he's not disappointed that he didn't receive a vote from his peers in balloting for the Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award.

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey won the award, as voted by the league's 30 coaches. Eight coaches received votes, including Philadelphia's Brett Brown, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, Indiana's Nate McMillan, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, LA Clippers' Doc Rivers, Utah's Quin Snyder and Portland's Terry Stotts.

Stevens downplayed any outrage at his omission.

"The way that thing works is you get one vote. And I'm telling you, I looked at the sheet and there's no way that I would have voted for me over any of the other 29 people," Stevens said. "And the guy that should have won got it. And the other guys that got votes, they're unbelievable.

"I'm stealing from those guys all the time. It's so incredible to have an opportunity to be one of 30. And I think it's a lot more important to just focus on competing with your team rather than trying to compare yourself to others. Because I'm telling you, if it gets to be a comparison contest, I'm screwed."

Former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas took to Twitter to support Stevens.

Informed that Stevens hadn't received a vote, former Celtics swingman Evan Turner tweeted, "That's crazy ... only in America!"

Stevens suggested those messages mean more to him than receiving any votes.

"I think you know me well enough that [awards] stuff just doesn't [matter]," Stevens said. "It means a lot more to me when I get a text message or you hear something nice from a former player, because those are the guys that are in the locker room and you're spending all that time with. Those guys know how much I appreciate and like them, and enjoyed our times together. So that means a lot."

Philadelphia's Brown was surprised when told that Stevens was blanked in the voting.

"You're saying he didn't get a vote? He should have got a vote. I would vote for him. He would get a vote from me," Brown said. "I'm thrilled that Casey got recognized. I really think he is incredibly deserving. He is the coach of the year.

"I think Brad is right in that mix as well. I think the job he's done with Gordon [Hayward] going out, with Kyrie [Irving] going out. I respect how they've designed their team. I think [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge has] done a great job of rolling out athletes and drafting well. They're long and they're physical. It's a great organization. I think Brad's done a heck of a job, and I didn't know he didn't get a vote. He deserved a vote."

The media's vote for coach of the year will be revealed later this year.