Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens might have saved Jeff Teague’s career while the point guard was still in high school.
Reminiscing on his path and how he got to the NBA, Teague revealed how he knew Stevens since his time in high school and how the coach put him on the right path so he could get where he is today.
Teague’s story was reported via Celtics insider Chris Forsberg.
“I knew Brad since high school, he actually changed my whole life, basically,” Teague said. “Because I had a path that I wasn’t really focused on school as much. I played basketball, obviously, but school wasn’t my favorite thing to do. So he pulled me into a room at Butler as a sophomore in front of my dad and he basically showed him my grades. I had been hiding report cards for some years. And basically just told me, ‘If you want the opportunity to play college basketball, you have to bring your grades up.’ And my dad not seeing my grades for a couple of years, he was pretty mad about that.”
Stevens pushing for Teague to be better off the court is a coaching trait that changes the course of a lot of promising athletes’ lives. Teague understands the magnitude of what Stevens did for him and would acknowledge it to his current head coach every time they would meet as opponents.
“I had to get my act together, man,” Teague said. “Basically got my focus right. And every time we play the Celtics in the past I would tell Brad, ‘Hey, thank you for saving my life,’ and he would look at me like shut up, whatever man. No, that was a big moment for me. I appreciate it.”
That appreciation and history will make their relationship now working together on the same team even more important. Both Teague and Stevens hopes that it will help the Celtics get back into the title picture. This especially with Kemba Walker out to start the season.
Teague is in his first year with the Celtics after finishing the 2019-2020 season with his original team, the Atlanta Hawks. He started the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who he spent the previous two years with as well. He spent his first seven seasons in the NBA in Atlanta. Stevens is in heading into his eighth season as the head coach of the Boston Celtics after leading the Butler Bulldogs to two straight Final Four appearances.