Indiana was unable to lure Brad Stevens away from Boston, but the Celtics coach certainly didn’t turn down the job because of a lack of financial incentive.
During Saturday’s edition of “NBA Countdown,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that Indiana was prepared to offer Stevens a seven-year, $70 million contract after the Hoosiers fired Archie Miller last month. That deal would have made Stevens the highest-paid coach in college basketball based on annual salary ($10 million), putting him ahead of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski ($9 million annually, per Forbes) and Kentucky’s John Calipari ($8.6 million annually).
The massive numbers stunned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who joked that he needed to go back to college.[embedded content]
Stevens has been attached to the IU job throughout his coaching career, but he has never expressed any real interest in returning to the college level since joining the Celtics in 2013. Wojnarowski noted that Stevens did not entertain the offer, and his current contract with Boston has him earning $6 million to $7 million annually.
“It’s better to be in the league,” Rose said. “He can get the same money in the league without having to go recruit and do all the stuff that comes with being a collegiate coach.”
The Hoosiers went on to hire former Hawks and Knicks coach Mike Woodson to a six-year, $18 million deal. Not exactly Stevens money, but a nice chunk of change.