<
>

President Brad Stevens? Celtics coach received write-in vote in New Hampshire primary

Boston Celtics fans have taken to playfully calling the team's third-year coach "President" Brad Stevens. One Celtics supporter, though, tried to start the process of making the title a reality.

Stevens received one write-in vote during Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, according to the full voting results posted by CBS Boston. Stevens earned his vote in the Republican primary that was won by Donald Trump.

That Stevens received a vote speaks to his growing celebrity in New England. The 39-year-old head coach is now in his third season and, after leading a rebuilding Celtics squad on a surprising second-half surge to the playoffs last year, Boston stands at 32-23 -- the third-best record in the Eastern Conference -- at the All-Star break this year.

Stevens is among Boston sports royalty in receiving votes in the New Hampshire primary. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got three write-in votes, while coach Bill Belichick landed on one ballot.

Outside the U.S. borders that he may one day preside over, Stevens earned more noteworthy praise when San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is coaching the Western Conference All-Stars this weekend in Toronto, gushed about Stevens during Friday's media access.

"First of all, truth be known, Brad looks like he's 18, and Butler basketball has been fantastic. Before he was even in the NBA, I would watch tapes of their games and look at some of the things that he did," Popovich said. "So, among basketball people, it was common knowledge that he was a heck of a coach. But to bring this young-looking guy into the NBA and say, 'OK, you're going to have to command the respect of these guys,' that took some courage on [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge's] part. And he did it, and it's turned out to be the right choice because Brad is one of the top coaches in the league.

"He's a clinician, he's a technician, he's detailed. He knows what he's doing with his demeanor, and how young he is, he's unbelievable the way he carries himself. He's truthful and straight up with players. And, in this league, that's the biggest thing they respect. That you're comfortable in your own skin. You don't try to trick them. You just tell it like it is, and he did that and gained their respect very quickly."

Sounds like Stevens might have found a running mate.