BOSTON – Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he used Boston Red Sox‘ Brock Holt as an example of sacrifice last week, spotlighting Holt’s selflessness to his Celtics players after Holt was held out of the lineup one night after hitting for the cycle during the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora inserted Ian Kinsler at second base for Game 4 of the ALDS, one day after Holt became the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in a postseason game. With sacrifice and accepting roles such a big theme around the Celtics as they prepare for a season with title aspirations, Holt’s situation resonated with Stevens.
“We’ve used [the Red Sox] as examples quite a bit,” said Stevens. “The Brock Holt example last week of going for the cycle and getting a DNP the next day, is how you win, right? And being willing to take on those roles, both as the guy that did it and the guy that replaced him the next night in Kinsler, those things matter. They’ve set a great example for us as we move into a new year.”
Stevens said Holt’s sacrifice came up as a topic of conversation when the team met last week.
“We talked about it a little bit in film. But everybody knows it, everybody’s paying attention to what’s going on,” said Stevens. “All of us, whether we’re transplanted or not become fans of the teams here. And, for me, my first year here, the Red Sox won the World Series. And that was a couple months after we moved and ever since then I’d say our whole family has been hooked. It’s just a blast to go over there and watch them work. Coach [Alex] Cora and their whole organization has had a heck of a year; we hope it lasts a few more weeks.”
Stevens went to Fenway Park for Saturday night’s Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros and marveled at constantly being able to be mingle with Boston’s other professional sports teams.
“I get such a kick out of being a fan and just enjoying that,” said Stevens, whose family has adopted many of Boston’s sports teams, even as he maintains his childhood allegiance to the Chicago Cubs. “Obviously, it didn’t turn out the way we wanted [with Houston winning Game 1] but hopefully they’ll get [Game 2 on Sunday]. I think that it’s just special to get a chance to do that here with all these teams. Certainly, the Red Sox have had a historic year. They’ve always rebounded when something tough has happened.”
Stevens visited the Red Sox at spring training in February, and he’s often made treks to Foxborough to mingle with the Patriots coaching staff. The Celtics and Bruins are neighbors with their new practice facilities in Brighton.
“It’s just unique. And I think that we’re all really lucky, the four major professional sports teams, to get a chance to represent Boston,” said Stevens. “That’s just a really really unique, unusual opportunity.”