Sports | June 2, 2021 2:55 pm

Will New Celtics GM Brad Stevens Hire a Female Coach as His Replacement in Boston?

Stevens is replacing Danny Ainge as Boston's president of basketball operations

Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics looks on against the Brooklyn Nets.
Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics looks on against the Brooklyn Nets.
Steven Ryan/Getty

Following a dismal season that ended with an early exit from the playoffs courtesy of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets last night, the Boston Celtics are making some changes. Big ones.

Following a rough week that saw his team lose on the court and himself lose face due to tone-deaf comments both new and old, Danny Ainge is “retiring” from his role as Boston’s president of basketball operations after nearly two decades and Celtics coach Brad Stevens is moving up into the front office to replace him.

“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime,” said Ainge, who was voted the league’s top executive in 2008 when Boston won its 17th championship, in a statement. “Having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward.”

The first order of business for Stevens, who guided Boston to the playoffs in seven of the eight years after he left Butler for his first NBA coaching job and is the fourth-winningest coach in team history, will be hiring his replacement to take over running the team on the court.

While there’s no way to know who that will be, Stevens will have plenty of candidates to choose from and names like Sam Cassell (+300), Chauncey Billups (+400) and Jason Kidd (+700) are already being floated — with odds.

But perhaps the most intriguing name on the list of potential coaching candidates is that of Becky Hammon (+800), who is currently an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio with the Spurs.

Stevens, who hired Kara Lawson as the first female assistant coach in franchise history before she left to take over as the head coach of Duke University’s women’s basketball program, has spoken about Hammon in the past and talked up her ability to be a head coach in the league.

Hired as the first full-time female assistant head coach in August 2014, Hammon has become one of the most respected coaches in the league and seems destined for a head coaching opportunity in the near future. While a more natural fit for Hammon might be taking over for 72-year-old Popovich in San Antonio, succeeding Stevens in Boston — which was the first NBA team to hire a Black head coach — as the first female head coach in NBA history would also be a good landing spot.

“I love the Celtics, and know the great honor and responsibility that comes with this job,” Stevens said. “I will give it everything I have to help us be in position to consistently compete for championships.”

Perhaps that position will include Hammon having a spot behind the bench moving forward.