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Last Tuesday Andrew Smith, one of Brad Stevens’ former player’s during his coaching stint at Butler, passed away after a two year battle with cancer.

Brad missed a game two Thursdays ago against the Bulls to visit Smith, who played under Stevens as a Bulldog from 2010 to 2012.

In an interview before the Celtics' game against the Knicks last Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, the C's coach who has been known for remaining even keel and showing little to no emotion no matter the situation, was unable to fight back tears while reflecting on the impact that Andrew Smith had on him:

“The last week has been tough,” Stevens said. “I was happy that I got a chance to say goodbye. And this is really about, when you coach somebody, you get a lot more out of coaching them than they do from you. So... that’s that. I could go on and on and it wouldn’t do him justice.”

It’s always been clear that Brad Stevens is one of those coaches who has a knack for developing special bonds with his players, and that’s been evident as he copes with this heartbreaking loss.

Via IndyStar.com, he delivered a powerful eulogy at Smith's funeral on Sunday where he reflected on how much meaningfulness Andrew was able to pack into his 25 years:

“What I’ll remember most are the things we talked about his freshman year,” Stevens said. “He never complained. He was always a great teammate. He tried to help everybody else live a little bit better. And he taught us all how to prepare for our time.”

Finally, his voice cracking, Stevens said:

“You did well, big fella.”

Despite dealing with this tragic loss, Stevens has managed show up to work and continued to do his job at a high level.  The Celtics have bounced back after losing six of seven and will go for their fourth straight win Monday night in Dallas.


Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour

Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images via CBS Boston

Jack Bardsley 1/18/2016 03:53:00 PM Edit
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