Turner’s 2018 prediction just came true thanks to Stevens connection originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Danny Ainge admitted Tuesday he was «a little surprised» when he got a call from Evan Turner’s agent asking if there was a spot for the ex-Celtics forward on Boston’s coaching staff.
So, why did the Celtics decide to add Turner — who played in 19 games last season at age 32 — as an assistant coach Monday? Two words: Brad Stevens.
«Brad has always been a fan of Evan’s, and Evan has been a fan of Brad’s and Boston and loved his experience here,» Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s «Toucher & Rich.»
«We’re not really in a hiring mode right now, but knowing how close Brad and Evan are and how much mutual respect they have for one another, I checked with Brad, (who said), ‘Yeah, I’d love to have him on our coaching staff.’ And we found a place for him. So, he’s going to give coaching a try.»
Turner played some of his best basketball with Stevens’ Celtics from 2014 to 2016, averaging 10 points, five rebounds and five assists per game over two seasons as a Swiss Army Knife sixth man. Turner parlayed his efforts into a four-year, $70 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, so it’s easy to see why he has a soft spot for Boston.
In that sense, it’s destiny that Turner is now paying it forward — a move he actually predicted two years ago.
Here’s Turner in a 2018 interview following a C’s-Blazers game pontificating that Boston would «bring me back one day» and that he and Stevens would «ride off into the sunset» as NBA champions.
Now that the first half of Turner’s prediction came true, the pressure is on for him to help bring an 18th title to Boston.