The Boston Celtics announced today that their head coach, Brad Stevens, is absent from tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls to visit with a former player that Stevens coached at Butler University. Further reports indicate that Stevens is visiting Andrew Smith, who returned to the hospital yesterday in an ongoing battle against cancer.
Smith played center for four years under Stevens at Butler, from 2009-2013. Smith’s scoring average went from 1.0 per game in his freshman season all the way up to 11.3 per game in his senior year.
Although Stevens has a losing record thus far in his two-plus seasons as Boston Celtics head coach, at 84-115, he is widely regarded as one of the brightest young coaches currently in the game. The Celtics entered into tonight’s game as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the Detroit Pistons and a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic.