Scenes from the Celtics celebration

What does a loose and happy Brad look like?

“Just more smiles, some jokes that he doesn’t normally tell, which is great,” Ainge said.

 Stevens stayed out of the limelight throughout the season. His predecessor, Danny Ainge, was sitting in one of the stadium seats and barking at the officials. Stevens watches from a private box. So it was no surprise that as the celebrations began on the field, Stevens made his way into the tunnel leading to the dressing room, away from the noise.

He was thrilled when his close friend and former Celtics assistant Micah Shrewsbury, who now coaches Notre Dame, stopped by.

“Now that was great,” Stevens told Shrewsbury.

 There have been reports that Celtics senior advisor Jeff Van Gundy may replace assistant coach Charles Lee, who was hired to coach the Hornets. But according to a league source, the two sides agreed that it would be better for Van Gundy to accept an offer to become a senior assistant for the Clippers instead.

The Celtics were somewhat uneasy about the prospect of Van Gundy jumping on members of the coaching staff who have been instrumental in this championship season, and Van Gundy agreed, the source said. But there is a unanimous feeling that Van Gundy has been an invaluable sounding board for the young staff this season.

Look for the Celtics to fill Lee’s position by promoting from within.

▪ Vice President of Basketball Operations Mike Zarin met with coach Joe Mazzola shortly after the final buzzer, and Mazzola’s message was predictably brief and direct.

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“He said it takes math and effort,” Zarin said.

▪ It’s not clear whether Dalano Banton and Lamar Stevens, who were traded by the Celtics in February, will receive championship rings. Teams must obtain permission from the NBA before gifting rings to players no longer on the roster. It’s hard to imagine the league would deny either request, and the Celtics have expressed appreciation for the contributions of both players during their short stays.

The Celtics created three tiers of rings after winning the 2008 title. Players, coaches and senior members of the front office received rings of the most diamond-encrusted tier. All other full-time employees received second-class rings, and part-time night game employees were part of the third class.

 There were some suggestions last year that Mazzola would have been fired if the Celtics had swept the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics executives have opposed the idea, and co-owner Steve Pagliuca stressed that the franchise’s commitment to Mazzola has never waned.

“We were always 110 percent behind Joe,” Pagliuca said. “We had no question about him being a coach. Our whole philosophy here is to stay with great people and look at the facts, and the truth is that he did a great job last year and he was going to get better. And now you see the results.”

 Yes, the Celtics held a six-player workout at the Auerbach Center on Tuesday, about 12 hours after winning the championship. Some members of the front office were running around without sleep.

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The Celtics also held a draft workout the day after they won the 2008 title, and it didn’t go well. The session included New Mexico forward J.R. Giddens, who wowed the group with his athleticism and was ultimately selected by the Celtics with the 30th overall pick. Giddens scored just 28 points during a season and a half with the Celtics.

The brass performed an ill-advised workout in 2008 at 10 a.m. after a night of partying. This year’s hearing was held about four hours later.

 Speaking of the draft, it will be extended to a two-day event this year, with the first round being held next Wednesday and the second next Thursday. Zarin was part of a group of executives from about 10 teams who brought the idea to the league office in 2013, but it hasn’t gained traction yet.

Zarin believes this shift will be beneficial.

“The second round has become so important for teams that they only have two minutes to decide on trades or who to pick,” he said. “You often call a team in the second round to make a trade, then they don’t have the option anymore, and by the time you find out who does have that option, it’s too late.”

There will be four minutes between second-round picks this year.

▪ In the wake of Monday’s win, NBA Finals MVP Jaylen Brown was thinking about his grandmother, Diane Varnado, who died last year.

“I woke up from my nap before the game, and I had a dream, and my grandmother was in the dream, and she hugged me this afternoon,” Brown said. “I just knew everything was going to be okay. But I wish she was here. But she was so important and pivotal in my life. And that’s wonderful. I know she would be proud of me.”

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▪ The celebration in the locker room started to die down sometime after 1 a.m., but 20-year-old rookie Jordan Walsh couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw a Michelob bottle at Jayson Tatum’s head. Most players never win an NBA title, and Walsh is now a champion less than a year after being drafted in the second round.

▪ A Hornets team that included former Celtics forward Grant Williams, center Mark Williams and rookie sensation Brandon Miller attended Game 5, almost certainly as guests of Lee, who would now become their coach. However, it was a little strange to see the three in the Celtics locker room amid the celebrations.

▪ What were the Browns’ thoughts on Payton Pritchard, who ran the buzzer at halfcourt to end the second quarter of Game 5?

“This guy,” Brown said. “that it [expletive] Legend, man.”


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at [email protected]. follow him @Adam Himmelsbach.

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